CRANESVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Out in Montgomery County, when it comes to medical help, the Cranesville Fire Department got a new tool. A small crowd gathered outside the fire department to watch the LifeNet helicopter land on the new helipad.
Chief Jake Champain says the need for the platform became more apparent as time went on. “Last year we had a handful of calls, a helicopter was needed. In this area there is no easy landing zone so I had the idea in November of 2022.”
According to the Montgomery County Sheriff, helicopters have landed in the area previously for medical emergencies, but not in this dedicated, safer setting. Landing lights are installed around the edge of the pad, along with reflectors to alert traffic of the location.
“The pilot of this chopper here said that this is one of the best landing areas that he’s seen so far. We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished,” described Highway Superintendent for the Town of Amsterdam, Bart Tessiero.
From start to finish, the project was funded by the Town of Amsterdam, Montgomery County and Cranesville Volunteer Fire, and used resources already available to get the job done. “We really didn’t put more than $10,000 into it. Putting the blocks up and then doing the fill and pavement. Basically, the pavement was the biggest cost,” explained Town Supervisor of Amsterdam, Thomas DiMezza.
Counties near Montgomery such as Fulton and Schenectady will also have access to the pad. Complete with a nurse and paramedic on board, Local residents shared their appreciation for the new addition to the area.
“In the time of stressed EMS concerns and time response, it’s a great opportunity to see in the unfortunate event it’s needed, it is here ready to go. It can cut those life saving minutes off a response for someone who really needs it.” said resident of the Town of Amsterdam, Jeffrey McBroom.
Aircraft isn’t the only new addition to the Cranesville fleet. The Chief’s truck is now in service, available to everyone in the department. Four-wheel drive allows the vehicle to go off-roading, bringing those in need to the helicopter.
“It’s going to be for emergency medical services, car accidents, fires. Its got all the equipment in there to be first on scene and start patient care,” stated Champain.