Waimate contractor steps up to fund all-weather helipad for town

Volunteers working on the new helipad in Waimate are, from left, firefighter and builder Brad Keen, contractor Ian Leathwick who has funded the $20,000 project, Waimate deputy fire chief Roger Bell and Waimate fire chief Duncan Lyall.

Bejon Haswell/Stuff

Volunteers working on the new helipad in Waimate are, from left, firefighter and builder Brad Keen, contractor Ian Leathwick who has funded the $20,000 project, Waimate deputy fire chief Roger Bell and Waimate fire chief Duncan Lyall.

An empty section behind the Waimate fire station is being turned into a $20,000 all weather 24/7 helipad thanks to the generosity of a contractor and volunteers.

Senior firefighter and St John volunteer David Shea said the fire crew often joked about what they could use the unused lawn space for.

He said the fire crew has been responsible for creating a temporary landing site every time the emergency helicopter arrived, often landing in school grounds, parks or the A&P Showgrounds.

“The spaces are on unsatisfactory surfaces and we’ve had to carry patients over rocks and shingle,” Shea said.

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