Letters to the Editor

Overlook's Helipad Argument Doesn't Fly


Dear Editor,

The column on a proposed helipad by Robert Mulcahy III, Chair of the Overlook Medical Center Advisory Board, is a new spin on the same arguments that have been rejected by the Summit Zoning Board of Adjustment and Union County Superior Court.

Let's remember some basic facts. There is an efficient and safe system already in place that transports stroke patients to Overlook using both air and ground transportation.  Overlook currently transports stroke patients by helicopter to its neuroscience center.  During the daytime hours, a stroke patient coming by helicopter lands at Connell Office park just a few miles away. In the evening, they land at Morristown Municipal airport.  These patients are then transported by ambulance the remaining few miles to Overlook. 

Sign Up for E-News

As the zoning board and Judge Cassidy of the Superior Court found, the helipad will undoubtedly present safety risks, diminish the quality of life, and hurt property values for the 20,000 residents of Summit. Indeed, a medical helicopter is involved in a fatal crash every six weeks to eight weeks in the United States. The nearest neighbor lives just 325 feet from the proposed Overlook helipad – three times closer than the nearest neighbor at Morristown Memorial or St. Barnabas in Livingston.

The risk and reduced quality of life are unnecessary evils. Dr. Bryan Bledsoe, clinical professor of emergency medicine at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, testified in 2010 before the Zoning Board that the rule of thumb in the hospital industry is only to transport patients via helicopter when the distance is greater than 45 miles - even in a densely populated state like New Jersey. The time it takes to assess the weather, make arrangements with receiving hospitals and other logistical details reduces the speed advantage that helicopters have over ambulances.

Finally, despite Overlook’s claims that the helipad will be minimally used, there is nothing Summit can do to restrict this use once the helipad is constructed. Morristown residents were once told Morristown Memorial’s helipad would only be used twice per month. It is now used nearly twice per day. Helipads are normally used to transport trauma patients, such as victims of a nearby accident. If Overlook’s claimed purpose for the helipad is true, then it would be the first hospital in the United States to construct a helipad solely for the purpose of receiving stabilized stroke patients.

The judgments of Overlook's first two attempts are clear - the helipad is unnecessary. Now, Overlook is claiming “regional benefit” - ignoring the local zoning process they originally submitted to and the court that heard their appeal. Regionally, there are four comprehensive stroke centers within a short distance of Overlook.

This is wrong. Summit residents should write the NJ Department of Transportation Office of Community Relations at 1035 Parkway Avenue, PO Box 600 Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0600 to voice their concerns, and the Department should reject the helipad.

Kelly J. Deere, Esq.
Citizens Against the Helipad

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Tue, May 22, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Ages 6 mo.-2 yrs.: Mother Goose Mornings

Arts & Entertainment Education


Tue, May 22, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Mother Goose Mornings

Arts & Entertainment Education


Wed, May 23, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Ages 1 yr.-K: Storytime Squad

Arts & Entertainment Education

Summit Police Blotter

May 17, 2018

4/24 - At 0728 hours a report was taken for a theft of two (2) sandwiches from a business on Morris Avenue. The manager reported that at approximately 0330 hours a male entered the business and removed two sandwiches from a refrigerated case. After doing so, he exited the store without paying for them. The male suspect was described as Hispanic, approximately 6’0”wearing a blue/gray ...

Four Colleges, Four Days Equals One True College Experience

May 21, 2018

Calling all College-Bound High Schoolers! 

Let's go on a college tour or two or four! Through the Summit Area YMCA, we made it easy for you... with a pre-planned fun-filled trip visiting four amazing colleges in the Southeast! including University of Richmond, Spelman/Morehouse, Morris Brown College, and Clark Atlanta University. 

Join other ...

Video: Point View's Petrides Weighs In on Big Box Stocks

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live at the NYSE discussing stocks of big box retailers:



For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and comprehensive financial ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Managing the Ups and Downs of First-Time Homebuying

They accepted our offer, now what?

At times both equally exhilarating and terrifying, the purchase of a home can be a total roller coaster ride -- especially when it is your first time going through the process. Between suddenly being expected to understand the intricacies of contracts and the inner workings of a home, you are also expected to start writing checks for amounts you may ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...