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Fri, Jun 22, 2012

First DOD Rooftop Heliport Dedicated

LZ Sits Atop The San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) At Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston

The first dedicated Department of Defense rooftop heliport was dedicated last month in San Antonio, Texas. Located on the roof of the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, the heliport was commissioned to reduce transport time for critically ill and injured patients and better serve the surrounding community in times of disaster.

"Transportation time for critically injured patients will be dramatically reduced, consequently saving lives of service members, retirees, and their families, as well as trauma patients from San Antonio and the outlying communities that are transported to SAMMC," U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Johnathan R. Sylvie, Ph.D, P.E. wrote in a letter to HeliExperts Managing Member Ray Syms. HeliExperts consulted with the DoD on the construction of the facility.

Previous to the new heliport, helicopters delivered patients to a ground level pad across the street from the medical center. This additional step of loading patients into an ambulance to transport the remaining distance added significant time delays to life saving care being administered. With the new facility, patients are transported directly to the Level 1 Trauma Center via a dedicated elevator from the new rooftop heliport, saving valuable time.
"It has been an honor to work on the DOD's first rooftop heliport and experience the satisfaction of helping them overcome multiple complicated challenges," said Syms. "We certainly hope this opens the door for more collaborative efforts where DOD heliports can come into existence to not only serve the military but also benefit the surrounding community."
HeliExperts provided heliport design expertise to the DOD, producing a heliport that meets FAA, NFPA and UFC standards, including submitting multiple applications and waivers regarding facility design and operation. Additionally, the HeliExperts team developed the heliport facility and training manual for both pilots and staff. Working closely with the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force safety officials, and under a contract with the Army Corp of Engineers, they also provided hands-on training and advanced state-of- the-art pilot briefing materials for the heliport and its users.

(Pictured: Raymond A. Syms, HeliExperts International; LTC Jonathan Sylvie, US Army Project Manager; CREW; Gary W. Kelley, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Project Manager; and DAC John G. Ramiccio U.S. Army Chief Flight Systems Branch)



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