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Journal Times editorial: Flight for Life's Burlington hub is good news
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Journal Times editorial: Flight for Life's Burlington hub is good news

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We all hope that we never have to have 911 called for us or for any of our loved ones. We especially hope and pray that it’s not so serious that Flight For Life needs to be called for helicopter transport. But if those emergencies do happen, soon, the emergency response will be much quicker thanks to the deal between the City of Burlington and Flight For Life to establish a new hub at the Burlington airport.

The deal almost didn’t happen after airport neighbors came forward complaining about the noise. Fortunately, aldermen made the right decision and allowed the deal to move forward in the name of public safety.

As Alderman Theresa Meyer said: “We would be crazy to pass this up.”

The new hub will reduce response times by 20 minutes or more for patients in Burlington and nearby, benefiting residents in all of western Racine and Kenosha County as well as Walworth County and beyond.

One of the neighbors against this, Keena Vos, said the noise of the helicopters would ruin the quality of life and said, “You are turning Burlington into a Chicago suburb. It’s a total shame … The Burlington residents deserve better.”

No. This is not going to turn Burlington into a Chicago suburb. Not even close.

If you don’t want to hear trains, don’t live by railroad tracks. If you don’t want to hear cars, then don’t live by a highway.

If you don’t want to hear planes, then don’t live by an airport.

In a recent letter to the editor, Mark Van de Bogert, who lives in neighboring Walworth County, wrote: “As someone who had a child transported by helicopter to save their life, I would not have cared if the entire county was awakened by the helicopter. It was necessary to save their life … The Burlington airport has been in public operation since June 1963. Unless those complaining have lived there since then, they moved near an airport knowing it was there.”

The helicopters respond to serious traffic accidents, but also can transport patients in crisis with heart attacks, strokes, pregnancies and other medical emergencies. Officials expect about 300 flights a year to originate from the new Burlington hub.

The hope is that serious accidents don’t happen. But it’s reassuring to know that soon help will be closer when needed.


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