Lifeguard 12 is about to get a new home - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Lifeguard 12 is about to get a new home

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LEXINGTON -

 Update: 5:30 PM

Blueprints for the new home of Lifeguard 12 at Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Lexington show a spacious home for the helicopter.  Crews surveyed and marked the land located just outside the ER Monday to prepare for Tuesday's groundbreaking.

Pilot, Russ Rivers says once the building in finished it will allow for even faster response times.

Rivers explains, "With this facility we will have the helicopter parked outside the hangar it cuts our time in half."

In addition to providing shelter for one of Carilion Clinic's three helicopters, the hanger will have sleeping quarters for tIe flight crew and an area for maintenance.

Susan Smith, Lifeguard Program Director says, "Any maintenance we need to do can be done here on site in Lexington, as opposed to having to move the aircraft all the way to Roanoke.

Rivers says, "We have to fly to Roanoke which is a twenty four minute flight and then another twenty four minute flight back.  It can be anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours of out of service time."

Officials say one of the benefits of having Lifeguard 12 in a rural community is that it makes that emergency transport or trip to the hospital even faster for areas that don't have a trauma center.

When lifeguard began back in 1981 Roanoke was the ideal location for lifeguard 10 because it was central. But since moving 10 to Smith Mountain Lake and adding 11 in the New River Valley and 12 in Lexington it creates a triangle.   Crew members say that triangle strategically covers areas that need it.

The new hangar is expected to house lifeguard 12 by October of this year.

Update: 12:21 PM: 

Carilion Clinic is breaking ground on the new hangar on Wednesday.

Earlier:

Carilion Clinic's Stonewall Jackson Hospital plans to break ground this week on a new hangar for Lifeguard 12.

It is expected to be finished in October. With 3 helicopters in service the permanent home in Lexington continues to allow emergency response times to be as fast as possible.

For a closer look at the new building, check out the blueprints here and here

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