KINGFIELD, Maine, Dec. 28 Poland Spring Water Company joined first responders and firefighters from Franklin County yesterday for the inaugural emergency training and helicopter landing at the recently constructed Kingfield helipad. Poland Spring donated $6,500 to the Fireman's Association of Franklin County and helped secure Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money to build and pave the helipad, now located behind the Kingfield Fire Station.
A two hour classroom and helicopter training was held yesterday at the new helipad with nearly two- dozen emergency responders from nearby Franklin County towns. The training was facilitated by a nurse and flight medic from LifeFlight of Maine Foundation, a non-profit organization that transports critically ill and injured patients to trauma units all around Maine. LifeFlight helicopters, flying at 165 miles per hour, will now be able to bring lifesaving equipment and critical care paramedics to the Kingfield helipad and transport critically injured patients within 20 minutes to trauma centers including Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Locating the helipad in Kingfield is important for area communities because, depending on where the call is from, it can be more centrally located than Carrabassett Valley's helipad. Previously, EMTs have had few options if a critically injured patient required a LifeFlight and would have to drive at least nine miles to Carrabassett. In other instances emergency responders have had to close roads in Kingfield to land a helicopter; or LifeFlights were forced to land on fields or a dirt strip behind the Kingfield Fire Station. These options compromised patient care because of lengthy travel times, nearby power lines, flying rock and debris, or poor landing surface conditions that meant transporting patients on gurneys over grass or dirt.
Wade Browne, a Supervisor for NorthStar Emergency Medical Services, said that the new helipad will save lives. "Maine is a very rural state making it tough for emergency responders trying to save the lives of critically injured people when time is of the essence. People in Kingfield, Salem, New Portland, and even some in Carrabassett Valley will now be able to catch a flight faster by using the new helipad here."
Kingfield's Fire Chief Chuck Twitchell, a member of the Franklin County Fireman's Association and 13-year EMT for NorthStar EMS, thanked the people of Poland Spring's Kingfield Plant for helping their community. "Without Poland Spring, this project would never have gotten off the ground. When I told them that this new helipad would save lives, they didn't hesitate to help."
Cameron Lorrain, Poland Spring's Kingfield plant manager, said that they company's $6,500 donation, "is all about giving back to this community and saving lives. Of Poland Spring's nearly 800 full time and seasonal employees in Maine, nearly 40 of them work right here in Kingfield." Lorrain said, "Poland Spring is proud to support the Franklin Fireman's Association and their work to make our community safer for the people who live and work here."
ABOUT POLAND SPRING: Since 1845, Poland Spring has been investing in Maine and creating good jobs using an abundant, renewable resource. Today, Poland Spring operates three bottling plants in Poland Spring, Hollis and Kingfield. The Kingfield facility, which officially opened in January 2009, represents a $60 million investment and 40+ new jobs in western Maine. Poland Spring operates additional spring sources in Fryeburg, Poland, Dallas Plantation, Pierce Pond Township and St. Albans.
For more information about Poland Spring in Maine visit www.PolandSpringWorksforMaine.com.
SOURCE Poland Spring