ALTHOUGH they’ll hope to never need it, Mortlake residents will soon have an all-weather emergency helicopter landing area.
A $50,000 donation from the Mt Fyans Wind Farm will streamline patient transfers by allowing emergency helicopters to land on a new hard surface at the Mortlake Recreation Reserve.
Mortlake Recreation Reserve Committee of Management Lighting Project convener Mick Murphy said the donation would put an end to ambulances being bogged when trying to transfer patients to emergency helicopters on the oval.
“Currently emergency choppers have to land on the oval and this has presented several problems, including the ambulance being bogged and patients then having to be carried to the helicopter in rain and wind,” he said. “This new landing area will mean emergency transfers can be made much more safely, with the road ambulance now able to drive right up to the emergency helicopter.” He said the donation would provide an off-oval landing area which will be easily accessed year-round.
Ambulance Victoria acting senior team manager HEMS4 Ben Hespe said the initiative will help them to “provide outstanding emergency healthcare every time”.
“It will certainly make it easier and safer for us to care for and transport patients, particularly at night and in inclement weather,” Mr Hespe said. “We thank you for helping to establish a safer and more reliable, all year, hard surface area which improves our response capability into Mortlake township itself and the surrounding region.”
Mt Fyans Wind Farm Project Director Giles Rinckes said the company was thrilled to support an important project that was a perfect fit with the company’s community support framework.
“When we were approached by the working committee earlier this year, we saw this project as a prime opportunity to support a very important project for Mortlake and the surrounding community,” he said.
“We are committed to the Mortlake community and are very proud to be able to fund a service that will aid with emergency response in the Mortlake district.”
The emergency helicopter landing area is the first part of the next project identified in the Mortlake Recreation Reserve Committee of Management master plan for the Reserve. The committee commenced seeking funding to achieve the master plan in 2015.