Mercy Flight WNY Will Replace Decades-Old Helicopters With A Modern, State Of The Art Helicopter
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Mercy Flight WNY will be the recipient of a $3 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to update their aging fleet of medevac EMS helicopters. The loan, to be disbursed through USDA’s Community Facility Direct Loan program will allow Mercy Flight WNY to purchase a new, state of the art Bell 429 helicopter in order to replace two older 1970s-era helicopters in their current fleet. The new helicopter, which will be based in Batavia and delivered by June of this year, will enhance Mercy Flight’s ability to safely transfer patients from the scene of an emergency to area hospitals.
“The hard-working men and women at Mercy Flight WNY are true heroes, dedicating their lives to rescuing others in emergency situations,” said Schumer. “Mercy Flight WNY and the patients they serve deserve the best equipment and technology around when lives are on the line. This loan will help them do their jobs at a higher level, allowing them to provide the best care possible while patients are en route to emergency care.”
“The support of the USDA has allowed us to place a tremendous asset in Genesee County.” said Douglas H. Baker, Mercy Flight WNY Founding President. He added, “I have been involved in Western New York Emergency Medical Services for fifty five years and truly believe the new Bell 429 EMS helicopter will help the Mercy Flight WNY team provide the most beneficial impact on patient care that I have seen in my career. On behalf of our entire team I extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped this dream become a reality. We are very proud to have served our community for 30 years and will be especially proud when we place the aircraft in service.”
Established in 1981, Mercy Flight WNY is an independent, not-for-profit provider of emergency air medical transport services. During these past three decades they have flown over 19,000 patient missions providing life saving care. Out of their bases in Buffalo, Batavia, and Olean they respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to medical emergencies throughout Western New York, Northwest Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario. In 2006 operations began at their base in Batavia and by 2008 Mercy Flight WNY had moved into its first permanent home at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Today they operate five aircraft with a team consisting of 26 paramedics, 27 nurses, 13 pilots, 9 air medical communications specialists, 6 aircraft mechanics and an 11 member administrative management team.