First phase of three phase construction brings new helipad to Minidoka Memorial

RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Minidoka Memorial Hospital held a ribbon cutting event on Friday to the mark the opening of a brand new helipad on the hospital's campus.

Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Rupert held a ribbon cutting event on Friday to the mark the opening of a brand new helipad on the hospital's campus. (KMVT/KSVT)

In attendance of the event were Minidoka Memorial staff, hospital C.E.O Tom Murphy, members from the Minidoka Chamber of Commerce, along with representatives from the Life Flight Network.

Minidoka Memorial Hospital did have a temporary helipad prior to the newly added one, but it did not meet Federal Aviation Administration standards.

Customer service Representative for Life Flight, Tom Mortimer, said the new helipad makes a huge difference in the level of safety for both landing and taking off from the hospital.

"We've used a temporary pad across the street to the west, and that's been great," Mortimer said. "But, boy this is such an improvement over that."

He says the competition of the helipad is much more than a concrete pad, and is something that will benefit the community and help save lives.

"A mean for people to get life saving rapid transport, so much more than a concrete pad," Mortimer said.

The EMS and Medical Director for Minidoka Memorial, Julie Mills, was in attendance of the event as well and agrees with Mortimer, that the helipad will help save lives and get people the treatment they need.

"That helipad is going to be huge for us," Mills said.

Minidoka Memorial Hospital received it's designation as an Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency Level II STEMI Center in September, and says the helipad will especially make a difference in the treatment and ability to treat heart attacks.

"With the proximity of this we can actually get the patients out to the helicopter faster because which we all know time is muscle when were talking about heart attacks," Mill said,

The completion of the helipad was only part of the completed first phase of construction, that also included improvements and additions made to the emergency medical services building.

"Phase one is the helipad and the parking lots," Minidoka Memorial Chief Executive Officer Tom Murphy said. "It's been in the planning for about two years."

Murphy said the final two phases of the construction will include further work on the hospital infrastructure which was badly needed.

"A lot of this was started in the 1960's and a lot of this needed to be replaced," Murphy said. "Now there's a lot of excitement now in the community we really seem them grown and improving and doing things that matter to our health."

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