ALAMOSA Volunteer Search and Rescue will soon add a helipad to its operations.
“We’re super stoked,” said Crystal Wilson, president of the Alamosa Volunteer Search and Rescue team. “This is gonna be a huge, huge game changer for us. We just did our night vision training up at Zapata the other night, and had moved the LZ (landing zone) three times because of brownouts. Not only will it be a huge safety factor, but it’s going to be a game changer for us.”
The original size of the helipad was 100-by-100 feet, but they had the opportunity to increase it. She said they’re aiming for a 300-by-300 foot pad, but it will likely be 250-by-250 feet.
The idea of increasing the helipad’s size was to make medical transfer easier. Ambulances can drive right on to the helipad to pick up subjects. The size, Wilson said, also allows two different helicopters to “meet nose-to-nose and still have plenty of room on the LZ to transfer the patient off.”
The project is a partnership with the federal Bureau of Land Management and Alamosa County Road & Bridge. Wilson said the official talks with road and bridge happened after the search mission for Justin Seagren in September 2022. During the mission, AVSAR used the help of multiple helicopters which made multiple landings at the team’s designated landing zone.
“This is one of those projects that serves a good purpose and doesn’t cost a lot of money,” said Alamosa County Commissioner Vern Heersink.
Alamosa County Road and Bridge will donate the supplies and labor, Wilson said. Operationally, the Alamosa Volunteer Search and Rescue falls under the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Department.