Macon County Chronicle

Nestle Donates Land for New Air Evac Helipad

Time is critical, especially for someone in need of a quick transport to an emergency facility, which could possibly take over an hour to drive by vehicle. Since Air Evac made their home in Macon County, a few years ago, they have found a place to land in numerous areas throughout the county, although hazards seem to grow with uncharted territory.

Nestlé Waters, located in Red Boiling Springs, has been a well-known pick-up site, the Air Evac Life team has come to rely upon to transport patients to several southern hospitals.

Wanting to improve the landing zone for Air Evac and the patients of our community and surrounding neighborhoods, Nestlé took the vision upon themselves, to erect a concrete helipad on their land, with a gravel driveway for ambulances to drive directly up to the site, thus enhancing crucial moments in critical times of need.

“The obstacles that we went through, prior to this pad being poured here, bouncing people across the rocks, and shoving people through the mud to get to the helicopter, is a tremendous blessing to no longer have to overcome,” Tim Booher, Air Evac Program Director for Air Evac Life team in Macon County pointed out, adding a big, “Thank you”, as he smiled. “Because today, you just made healthcare in Macon County, tremendously safer.”

“We’ve been in this community for a little over five years now, and we really appreciate how everyone welcomed us, not only as a business, but as a neighbor,” stated Tony Dexter, Nestlé’s Macon County Bottling Facility’s plant manager.

“One of the things we are very proud of, is doing whatever we can for the community,” Dexter added, “and this helipad is something that is going to be here for years to come, and is one of those gifts that just keeps on giving.”

September 16, 2009 was a special day for Macon County, which marked the official opening of the Air Evac field-landing site, located on the property of Nestlé Waters, in Red Boiling Springs.

 “You know, when my crews (Air Evac) get the call from one of Randall Kirby’s crews (Emergency Management Services) or even from a neighboring county, such as Clay County, they all know that Nestlé is a safe place to meet,” Booher said, taking into consideration that the power lines and trees on the bottling plant’s land have now been placed and cut for this purpose.

“Now they can have a comfort that is incredible, knowing that they can come to this pre-determined location, with a safe entry and a safe exit,” as Booher pointed to the clear sky area around the new helipad, which will grant much easier access to patients. “This gift is definitely one that is going to keep giving, from here to eternity,” Booher added.

“I want to thank Air Evac just for being in our community,” Macon County Mayor Shelvy Linville declared at the opening ceremony. “You’re a big asset to Macon County, and you know, even if you never use your service, just the comfort to the citizens, to know that you’re here if they need you, means a lot. And as far as Nestlé Waters go, there are not enough words to express my appreciation to you. The jobs you provide, and your community involvement and support, thank you.”