RIDGEVILLE TOWNSHIP — A local church is offering its parking lot as a dedicated landing zone for Life Flight air ambulance and will serve as the first such location in Henry County.
St. John Lutheran Church, located at the corner of state routes 6 and 66, has volunteered to allow the network to use its parking lot.
According to Mercy Health — Life Flight Network, it has been exploring options to establish predesignated landing zones in high-volume areas where air medical services are frequently needed in an effort to improve safety for patients and local emergency crews. One area identified was in northwestern Henry County, and the network was searching for a site that met the criteria it was seeking — the center of multiple major intersections, near multiple communities and had unlimited accessibility with minimal obstructions or safety concerns.
“In this particular location, the ideal landing site just happened to be in the middle of a church parking lot,” said Mike Conrad, director of Mercy Health — Life Flight Network. “We are so thankful to the Ridgeville Fire Department, the Ridgeville Township trustees and most significantly to the leadership of St. John Lutheran Church for their help in establishing a safe place for our crews to land so as to ensure a quick life-saving response to those who need immediate medical attention in the area.”
Mike Weaver, president of St. John Lutheran Church, said the church was approached with the idea and embraced it.
“Just as Christ served all of mankind, we at St. John believe it is our duty to also serve Him, and this partnership does just that,” Weaver said. “If just one life is saved by providing a place for Life Flight to land when no other spot is available, it will be worth it.”
The church has also committed to light the parking lot 24 hours a day. In addition, the township has included the location in its maintenance program to ensure the area is clear of debris and snow.
In thanks, Mercy Health is donating an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to the church congregation.
“We are humbled by the generous gift from the Mercy Foundation, and since we don’t have a similar device, the AED will be invaluable when the need arises,” Weaver stated.
A blessing for Life Flight and its crews will be made by Pastor Kramer at the church Sunday morning:
“We ask God to watch over this aircraft and crew. Keep them safe and free from harm’s way, as they perform their life-saving duties. We thank you, Lord, for all of these men and women who give of themselves to help others, just as your Son humbled himself for us and gave up his life to allow us to reside with you eternally in heaven. Bless this aircraft and crew, let your Holy Spirit reside in them, that they may be a shining light in your Kingdom on earth.”