Multiple uses for helipad
The upgraded helicopter pad at Walhalla is finding some other uses than for emergency rescues.
According to Walhalla-based Baw Baw shire councillor Michael Leaney the pad has been used for a private helicopter to pick up a person that had completed the Great Alpine Walk from Canberra to Walhalla and, on occasions, by the Army.
But its principal use is for the Helimed aerial ambulance service to extract injured people.
Cr Leaney says most of those had been for injured trail bike riders and, about 12 months ago, to take a snake bite victim to hospital.
The landing pad area is constricted in the town, next to the main road, and gravel areas that surrounded it were a danger the latest rescue helicopters.
The upgrade has seen those areas grassed and low-level fencing installed to prevent vehicles parking on the landing area.
Because of it closeness to the entry road to the town the Walhalla CFA temporarily closes the road when the air ambulance is due to arrive to give it plenty of scope in a difficult landing zone in the steep terrain with narrow valley.
Cr Leaney said a similar upgrade was also required for the helicopter pad at Tanjil Bren.
At nearby Rawson the recreation reserve is use for landings when Helimed is call on.
An aerial ambulance on the upgraded helipad at Walhalla that is mainly used to transfer people injured in the bush to hospital.