LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Work has started on a new designated helicopter landing zone at Lewis County General Hospital.
"Our projected go-live date is either the third or fourth week in October," said CEO Jerry Cayer.
Cayer says the designated landing zone is a joint effort between the hospital and Mercy Flight Central.
Mercy Flight provides critical care transportation to major medical centers.
It helped hospital officials choose the best spot for helicopters to land and how to get the zone ready.
Flight paramedic Matthew Yelton says it won't take much to make the conversion.
"Surprisingly, the location that we did select there in the corner of the parking lot had very few changes that really needed to be made," said Yelton.
Currently, helicopters have to land at the Center for Business right down the street. The distance to the hospital isn't too far, but the amount of work it takes to land a helicopter at the center has created a need for a new designated landing zone right at the hospital.
"Whenever the helicopter needed to land, it required local search and rescue vehicles, police, and fire," said Cayer.
When the new landing zone is up and running, there won't be a need for the extra resources.
Patients will be brought to the helicopter directly from the emergency room. It's a move that will shave off a lot of time.
"We're projecting nearly a half hour of saved time," said Cayer.
Cayer says one-third of all medical evacuations in Lewis County happen at the hospital and soon the process will be significantly quicker.