Helipad Project Officially Off the Ground

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A new helipad designed for emergency medical evacuation was dedicated this morning in the small town of Keith.

The project was the brainchild of members of the United Methodist Men's group from the Zion Methodist church in Iola. The rural area's helipad will serve as a jumping-off point for helicopters transporting ill or injured patients. The money, manpower and technology to build the pad was all donated.

"The helipad provides almost instant access to medical facilities," said Jim Deeter with the Zion United Methodist Men. "It takes about seven minutes to come from Coulter Field to this site, so we can evacuate folks to a medical facility probably four to five times as fast."

A flight from the new pad to Houston will take around 20 minutes.

Community leaders say similar projects are in the works in Grimes County.