Local Leaders Celebrate Passage of Air Ambulance Bill

Bill will allow New York air ambulances to carry blood

(BINGHAMTON, NY) – Senator Fred Akshar, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Assemblyman Joseph Angelino gathered today to celebrate the recent passage of S4085A/A2561B (Hinchey/Woerner), a bill which would allow for New York air ambulances to carry blood products. The bill passed both the Assembly and the Senate on Monday; the legislators were cosponsors. They were joined by Travis Flanagan and members of his family, along with a helicopter from Life Net of New York.  

This issue came to their attention after Travis Flanagan, a local man, was severely injured in a tragic farming accident. He was airlifted from Greene to Syracuse in an air ambulance based in Pennsylvania. The out of state helicopter made all the difference because those based in New York are unable to carry blood. New York is the only state in the nation whose regulations prohibit medical helicopters from carrying these life saving products. 

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, “Like my other colleagues, I learned about this legislation after a local farming accident where Travis Flanagan nearly lost his life. Luckily, he was close enough to the state border that a medical chopper from Pennsylvania responded with blood on board. New York has outdated laws that restrict air transport ambulances from storing and distributing blood. I was relieved to see this bill pass through both houses of the Legislature, and am urging the Governor to sign this lifesaving measure. I am also grateful to Travis and his family for their bravery and commitment to this policy change.” 

Senator Fred Akshar said, "Travis Flanagan's ability to cultivate positive and meaningful change out of tragic circumstances exemplifies the spirit of what makes our community great. Travis' determination helped give this legislation the momentum it needed to pass both legislative houses in short order. I was proud to cosponsor it and I thank Senator Rivera, Senator Hinchey, Assemblywoman Lupardo and Assemblyman Joe Angelino for working across party lines to help move this forward. Together we will be able to fix New York's arcane regulations and help save lives." 

Assemblyman Joseph Angelino said, “Early this year, due to a serious accident which Travis Flanagan survived, many of us in the Southern Tier learned that New York still had not legalized medevac helicopters to carry life-saving blood on board to treat patients as they were being transported to hospitals. We set out to change this. Medevac helicopters are critical in emergency medical care throughout New York, especially in our rural communities. Carrying blood on board is essential for patients. Travis’ bravery inspired us. I am proud to partner with my colleagues across the aisle to sponsor and pass this legislation.” 

Travis Flanagan said, “I’m here today thanks to the first responders who saved my life and the good fortune of having a Pennsylvania medical helicopter respond to my accident. This legislation helps ensure than anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation won’t have to rely on luck. I can’t express how thankful I am to the community for supporting me and my family throughout the past few months and today we join together in asking the Governor to please sign this bill into law.”   

Steve Sculley, Account Executive for Life Net of New York said, "A lot of our team members know Travis and his family and worked closely with him to help advocate for this legislation. One of the primary causes of death in the trauma environment is blood loss. Being able to provide blood products to these patients will absolutely save lives."