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October 22, 2018

8/3/2018 9:13:00 AM
Helping save lives: Helipad installed at The Friendly Place in Livingston
Every second counts, especially when it comes to saving a life, and nobody knows this better than the Loeffelholz family from Livingston including Tim, Kristi, Kimberly, Patrick, Brittany, Treaton, Trinity, and Taytum. Many members of the family are first responders as EMTs and/or firefighters. "It takes 15 minutes to land (a Medflight) flying out from Mineral Point," explained Tim Loeffelholz, who owns The Friendly Place with his wife, Kristi. Tim has been a first responder for over 20 years. "They don't want to land on gravel or in tall grass so that can limit their options, and they can't land in football fields." Tim has experienced this firsthand as it is part of a first responder's job to ready a landing spot for the Medflight helicopter. Additionally, it takes six people to setup a landing spot. "It's just easier to have a designated spot to land," he said. "It's an easier way to get to the people needed."
Having a chosen landing spot also saves time - something that is limited when it comes to saving a person's life; this is something the Loeffelholzs know all too well. Tim and Kristi's daughter, Kimberly, discussed a time a couple years ago when Kristi was very sick: "Her [Kristi's] fever spiked from 102 degrees to 107 degrees from Livingston to Dodgeville," Kimberly said. "That's a big increase, and a person can deteriorate so quickly. That was part of our personal reason for doing this."
The helipad is still being worked on with plans to paint a big "H" on the landing spots - there are two designated spaces with one being a primary spot and the other secondary. The primary spot is located where semis can park while the secondary spot is nearby. The helipads were able to be located there as The Friendly Place is putting in a diesel fuel expansion that has been going on for the past five years, and the helipads were part of that expansion.
"I talked to a head pilot and worked out all the details," Tim said. "I want to get all the little details right; I don't want it to be a fly-by, and anybody can use it for landing - any helicopter can drop here." The GPS coordinates are available for all Medflight pilots.
The Friendly Place business paid for the helipad to be done at their own expense. "I hope it's something we don't ever have to use," Kimberly said. "It's nice to see that people to help come out of everywhere when needed."
As of interviewing the Loeffelholz family, the helipad hasn't been used for any emergency yet, but there was a landing earlier in the year during the Livingston Good Earth Festival.

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