New Helipad at Frye Regional Medical Center

New Helipad at Frye Regional Medical Center

23-Jan-2023 Source: Frye Regional Medical

Frye Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint hospital, is bringing emergency medical care to new heights. After several months of careful planning, construction and staff education, Frye Regional has a new rooftop helipad – technically two helipads – located on the top floor of the hospital’s parking garage on N. Center Street in Hickory.

“This marks a tremendous step forward for the delivery of critical care at Frye Regional and further exemplifies our mission of making communities healthier,” said Philip Greene, MD, chief executive officer of Frye Regional Medical Center. “This investment in our facility has been years in the making and is a visible sign of the progress made in establishing Frye Regional as the region’s leader in cardiac and neurosurgical care.”

The medical center’s new helipad meets or exceeds all local and state requirements, including an adequate touchdown and lift-off area, approach/departure paths, perimeter lighting and a fuel-water separator system, which is required for helipads on elevated structures.

According to Dr. Greene, the rooftop helipad has been inspected and is now fully operational. Hospital staff are preparing for a ceremonial “First Flight to Frye,” which is tentatively scheduled for the week of January 23. A MedCenter Air helicopter is set to land and take off a number of times during a 24-hour period on the selected day as part of practical, hands-on training for Frye Regional’s safety, security and emergency department staff.

The new helipad enables patients with the most serious medical conditions to be airlifted directly to and from Frye Regional’s Emergency Department, saving transport time and providing access to lifesaving care and resources. As an extension of the hospital, the air medical team is experienced and equipped with IV pumps, ventilators and other supplies – almost like an ICU in the air.

“Having a helipad at our hospital enables swift, specialized care for time-sensitive medical events like a heart attack or stroke,” said Gregory Taraska, MD, medical director of the emergency department at Frye Regional Medical Center. “In addition to serving patients from the Catawba Valley region, we anticipate inter-hospital transports of critically ill patients from facilities across western North Carolina – reducing time-to-treatment, such as in the case of a patient who needs an emergency cardiac catheterization to open a blocked artery or open heart surgery.”

“As an accredited Chest Pain Center and Primary Stroke Center, Frye Regional’s healthcare team is committed to providing fast, quality care to critically ill or injured patients,” Dr. Greene said. “Our new helipad is representative of what our doctors, nurses, pharmacists, techs, therapists and other staff do every day – providing lifesaving and lifechanging care.”

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