Roseboro needs a helipad, and the town’s Fire Department is coming to the rescue.
The Fire Department is sponsoring a concert this weekend with hopes of raising needed funds to put in a helipad in the town of Roseboro. The concert, featuring Amanda Daughtry, is Saturday, Aug. 2, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Sampson Agri-Exposition Center.
Roseboro Fire Chief Bobby Owen is working with the town to get the needed helipad, and he said that this would be a great service to area citizens.
“We decided we needed to put one in after several incidences in the past few years,” said the fire chief.
“Right now the only other place we have to land is the Roseboro-Salemburg Middle School football field,” he explained. “This is not just for wrecks. It’s to help the public out; it’s for people with health issues like heart attack and numerous things.
“With the new Highway 24 coming in, there will be a lot more traffic,” reminded Owen, citing that the new road would potentially cause an even greater need for a helipad.
One of those getting behind the community effort is Ford of Clinton’s Larry McPhail who has provided them with a monetary donation as well as contributions of bottled water they can sale for a profit the day of the fundraising and cups with the fundraising’s name on one side.
McPhail, who like so many other local business owners believes in supporting the community, said the helipad fundraiser caught his attention because it reminded him of a poignant experience he recently had at a Ford meeting.
“It was a much larger city and a much larger fundraising, but the idea was basically the same, except this community was purchasing a helicopter.”
But it was the message from the hospital’s CEO that brought tears to McPhail’s eyes. “He called up the contributor and said that donation helped to save a little girl’s life. It really hit home with me, the impact we can make in our own communities.”
That sparked McPhail into action when he heard of Roseboro’s fundraising. “I saw this as important; I hope others do too. This is an important fundraising event and I hope everyone will come out and support it. You just never know whose life might be saved because of this helipad,” McPhail stressed.
Fundraising for the new helipad started two years ago, and a bike ride was held last year, something the department plans to continue this year.
“Now on Saturday we will have Amanda Daughtry,” he said.
Owen said he hopes the funds raised will get them even closer to the $30,000 to $35,000 needed to construct the helipad.
“The helipad has to be built to certain specifications, and cannot be asphalt,” he explained, citing that asphalt would buckled under the weight of the helicopters coming in and out.
“We have around $12,000 to $13,000,” he said. “We are trying to get enough to build.” He said that there are some folks working on the new highway that have expressed an interest in helping out with hauling and leveling dirt, but the details have not been worked out as of yet.
The helipad would be on the lot behind the dialysis clinic, which the town of Roseboro owns, privately.
“There’s a whole lot of criteria, dealing with the FAA,” he said, adding that they are getting it worked out. They should be able to start pouring the cement with around $20,000. The helipad would also have a ramp so patients could be wheeled around as well as a turn around area for emergency vehicles.
“Whether it’s Roseboro, Clement, Spviey’s Corner, wherever, something like this is a worthwhile cause and worthy of our support,” McPhail said.
Reach Emily M. Hobbs at 910-644-0447. Follow us on twitter @SampsonInd.