On behalf of the over 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students at The George Washington University, the GW Student Association enthusiastically supports the installation of a helipad at the George Washington University Hospital.
The GW Hospital is one of only three Level I trauma facilities in the District of Columbia. Only one of these facilities, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, currently has a helipad, but they only have six trauma beds. In the event of a mass-casualty incident, other hospitals would need to absorb the overflow. As the GW Hospital can take such patients, a helipad will improve its ability to respond to mass casualty incidents. The benefit does not limit only to trauma patients—organ transplant patients will also benefit from having a larger geographic region from which to draw matched organs.
While we understand that there are concerns from residents, including some students, about noise and vibration, a comprehensive noise study conducted by GW Hospital showed that Foggy Bottom and West End residents will experience a lower range of noise levels from helicopters than from ambulances. The hospital projects only two to three helicopter visits per week.
Our GW community has a moral obligation to support this critical proposal. Saving lives is worth any cost.