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Baptist West helipad draws concerns

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission approved a helipad for Baptist Hospital West at its last meeting, but voiced concern over how patients would be transported from the pad across the parking lot to the hospital.

“They have reconfigured their parking lot and will be building [the helipad] on fill dirt near that slope,” west of the current hospital building, Community Development Director Ruth Hawk said.

According to Hawk, when the Hospital submitted plans for its new medical office building, it included expanding the parking lot and getting rid of the current helipad.

“At that time, they were not planning on needing a helipad. But as in all good things, there are changes made … and they need one now,” Hawk said.

Bollard lights will be used instead of streetlights in the parking lot areas that are part of the helicopter’s flight path. The FAA has approved the helipad sight.

“How do they plan to get patients from the helicopter to the main building? Because there’s a parking lot to go through,” Commissioner Carol Evans asked the design representative.

BHW spokesman Stewart Anderson, said the patients would be transported through the drive lane of the parking lot, perhaps through an ambulance or other hospital vehicle.

“Once you come off the helipad down that angled sidewalk, they would then wheel you down the drive lane and then across … to pick up with what is the existing access to the sidewalk in the emergency area,” Anderson said.

FMPC also approved a request to rezone 701 Fretz Road, located between Lanesborough Apart-ments and Chapel Glen subdivision, from R-1 to R-6.

According to Hawk, the lot eventually will house another apartment building.


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