Killian Mayor Craig McGehee cut the ribbon on a new helicopter landing pad in the town June 28 during a ceremony hosted by the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce.
The idea for building a helipad in Killian was ignited by the area’s increase in water traffic and activities during the summer months and emergency response times, a news release said.
McGehee said the town’s population is four times larger during the water recreation season than other times of the year, resulting in more traffic accidents and a need for the ability to get patients quickly to treatment.
“People are spending time at their camps plus the swell of river traffic with those enjoying the waterways makes for a great time,” he said.
The landing area was built to accommodate larger helicopters, including a Black Hawk chopper, he said.
The mayor said Killian has been a staging site during disasters in the area, and “we did not want to be limited in the service we provide to those who need help most.”
The ribbon-cutting event was hosted by the Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce and attended by those who assisted in the efforts to complete the project, participants of the Leadership Livingston team, of which McGehee was a part and officials from the Killian Police Department and Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.
A helicopter, flown by a captain with the Sheriff’s Office, was on site for the event.
The helipad has already been used during recent flooding in the area and for medical emergencies, the mayor said.
Parish President Layton Ricks and state Rep. Clay Schexnayder praised those involved in getting the helipad built. Chamber executive April Wehrs agreed.
“The community effort and ability to complete a project with the support and efforts of the business community, elected officials and town officials, plus the community rallying around the cause cannot be understated in this project,” said Wehrs. “The chamber continually advocates for these types of grass roots efforts and the collaboration to get the job done. This project is a prime example of those efforts.”