CORRYTON, Tenn. (WATE) — Rural Metro Fire officials will show off their new helipad Wednesday in Corryton. WATE 6 On Your Side got a first look at the upgrade to learn how this will keep this rural portion of East Tennessee safe.
The helipad will most notably cut down transportation times when in case of a trauma or critical emergency. Wayne Waggoner, the Facilities Manager with Rural Metro Fire, said this will cut the transport time from about 40 or 50 minutes by car down to less than 15 minutes by helicopter.
“It’s a long trip from Corryton to a level 1 trauma center at UT hospital, we wanted to make sure we set something up up here to get people as quickly as we can to the hospital,” said Waggoner.
Waggoner also said when Rural Metro Fire relocated the Corryton fire station in 2021 the community and the county leaders realized there was a real need for a Federal Aviation Administration-approved helipad. Knox County came through with funds that the community used to construct the Helipad and obtain all the FAA licenses to be FAA certified.
Waggoner said there have been several instances already this year where the helipad would have been utilized, like for emergencies on House Mountain.
“We will need it up here because we’ve had this year like three different events on House Mountain where somebody was hurt, not necessarily a trauma, that bad of a trauma, but we’ve had people that’s got hurt that we’ve had to transport,” said Waggoner.
He also said the helipad being connected to the fire station is ideal for ambulance teams to load patients onto helicopters smoothly.
The community can check out the helipad for themselves Wednesday, May 18 with a grand opening and ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. It is free to the public. The address for Rural Metro Fire Station #33 in Corryton is 7701 Corryton Road, next to the post office.
Waggoner said Lifestar & KCSO Air 1 to be on scene to demonstrate landings.