Unless they happen to be nearby, it can take a relatively long time to get an ambulance to the southeast part of Norman. That response time should be a few minutes shorter thanks to the generosity of Astella Pharma Technologies, Inc. which has donated land for an emergency station.

The company announced this past week that it would donate 28 acres of land adjacent to its plant on south Highway 9. Norman Regional Hospital Foundation board members accepted donation of the land last week.

The hospital's EMSSTAT officials said the new facility will significantly reduce response times in south and southeast Norman. It's closer to the south side of Lake Thunderbird and will cut response time to the area south of Highway 9 near Chautauqua where many retirees live.

Once built, the station will replace temporary quarters on OU's South Campus. The other stations are at the hospital and at 24th Avenue NW and Robinson Street.

Astellas President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Shigeharu Yokohama presented the deed to Jim Wade, chairman of the hospital foundation. Besides building the emergency station, the hospital foundation will use the rest of the land to promote physical activity in the community. A park will be developed with walking trails and other amenities.

The plant began as part of the Shaklee family. It later became Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical. In April, Yamanouchi merged with Fujisawa Pharmaceutical to form Astellas. We're delighted Astellas is continuing the good corporate citizen tradition.

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