It was more than seven years ago that Christy Graves, Director of Operations/EMS Chief of Crosby, began describing why a Heliport and Digital Flight Path would be needed for Crosby. Now other rescue services are using the rescue helicopter base and approved travel route for helicopters to fly to hospitals.
The amount of Life Flight out of our area has increased dramatically. Forty seven Life Flight requests with 54 patients flown from January 1, 2019 until December 1. Twenty eight from June 1 until September 1 (90 days of Summer.) Sixteen Life flights flew from September 1 until December 1. Statistically, each year there is a spiral increase.
All the plans and infrastructure became a reality recently as the the F.A.A. and N.T.S.B. approved flight path was finally completed and incorporated into the Harris County rescue program last year, just in time to be used for a patient of Dayton. Their ambulance crews became the first to use the helipad and flight path that can be used in bad visibility.
One factor that made it necessary for the area was that sea fog frequently nestles in lowlands and obscures where even a brightly lit low lying area is from helicopter height. Additionally, recent wrecks on Interstate 10 and US 90 would indicate that roadways can be blocked during inclement weather and flooding.
According to Christie Graves, “The idea first came up when I was talking with a former supervisor of mine about how many times I had been turned down for Life Flight because we lacked weather stations and things like that here.