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As a resident of Hillsboro, this has boggled my mind for some time. What happens when the Lifewatch helicopter needs to land at the Parkview Church parking lot but church is in session? The cars would be in the way of the landing spot. What would happen or where would they land?


Mike Ryan, administrator and chief executive officer of Hillsboro Community Medical Center, said the normal procedure for transporting patients by air is to have the helicopter land and take off from the Hillsboro Municipal Airport. The pilots of the two air transport services coming into Hillsboro, EagleMed and LifeTEAM, have the choice of landing at the airport, located on West D, or Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church, located at 610 S. Main.

“When the helicopter lands, our ambulance goes over and meets it and picks up the crew that brings them over to the hospital,” Ryan said. “Then the patient is stablilized and prepared for transport, and they’re all returned back over to the airport for take off. So church services shouldn’t be interrupted, and patient care shouldn’t be a problem.”

If the pilots’ first choice is the church parking lot but it’s full, pilots have the airport as an alternative landing site.

“And we use the ambulance in either location,” Ryan said. “They’ve got the lights over there at the airport, and they like that. I think really the difference is just pilot preference about wanting to land at the airport.”

Do you have a question about Daily Life? Send it to the Free Press, 116 S. Main, Hillsboro, KS 67063; e-mail:

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