With the closest high-level medical center more than a 30-minute drive away, a safe landing zone for medical helicopters can be a lifesaver for the citizens of Rusk County, Wisconsin. Before the helipad was built, the only suitable landing area was the intersection of two busy highways.
The helipad culminates 15 months of planning and construction, funded by donations from local businesses, clubs and individuals. Among them was Chippewa Valley Energy, based in Eau Claire, Wis., which provided financial support and donated the land.
"There's a real need in this area and throughout rural America for medial and emergency services," says Travis Lueck, Bloomer, Wis., a Chippewa Valley Energy board member. "I think it's important for our co-op to serve our community with projects like this."
"One of our principles is community involvement and giving back," says Steve Hunsley, president and CEO of Eau Claire Co-op Oil, the parent company of Chippewa Valley Energy. "Many of our employees live in small towns and volunteer as emergency responders and firefighters. That's the kind of involvement we strive for."
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