(Media release from Atrium Health Floyd):

Beginning Thursday, helicopters will be taking off and landing at Floyd Medical Center’s helipad as training exercises begin at the new facility at the North Second Avenue entrance to the hospital’s Emergency Care Center.

Helipad safety education will take place day and night throughout the entire month of May. That training includesclassroom education and on-site exercises as hospital teammates become familiar with the process for receiving and transferring patients using an air ambulance.

Members of the Rome Fire Department will also be going through the training with Atrium Health Floyd teammates.

The time spent taking off and landing will also help helicopter pilots become familiar with the area surrounding the helipad, so they are prepared when it becomes fully operational, which could be as early as June.

Training will include helicopters from various air ambulance companies, hospitals and organizations, including Life Force Air Medical Service, Air Methods, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Georgia State Patrol and the Air National Guard.

The helipad is the result of an ongoing analysis to identify opportunities to bring enhanced trauma services to the communities served by Atrium Health Floyd. Expert trauma service consultants and members of Atrium Health’s leadership team have endorsed the project.​​​​​​​

The current helipad on Riverside Parkway near Atrium Health Floyd’s EMS headquarter is about 1.5 miles from the hospital. The raised helipad will have direct elevator access to ECC trauma bays and will allow ambulance and other first-responder vehicles to pass and park beneath to access the ECC.

“The helipad will allow us to provide quicker and more direct access to our ECC,” said Dr. Ken Jones, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Atrium Health Floyd. “It is certainly important when it comes to providing trauma care to critically ill patients.”

Floyd Medical Center is the only Level II Trauma Center in Georgia EMS Region 1, which covers 16 Georgia counties over 5,439 square miles. There are no Level I Trauma Centers in the region.

Floyd Medical Center was the first designated trauma center in Georgia. It has maintained that designation for 40 years.