Local Leaders Celebrate Air Ambulance Bill Now Signed into Law

New law allows New York air ambulances to carry blood

Binghamton, NY – Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, Senator Fred Akshar, and Assemblyman Joseph Angelino gathered today to celebrate Governor Hochul signing into law S4085A A2561B/(Hinchey/Woerner), which allows for New York air ambulances to carry blood products. 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 the legislators’ 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 were unable to carry blood. Before this bill was signed into law, New York was the only state in the nation whose regulations prohibited medical helicopters from carrying these lifesaving products.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, “I became a co-sponsor of this legislation after Travis Flanagan shared his courageous story. He is alive today, in part, because a Pennsylvania based air ambulance responded to his farming accident with blood on board, instead of a NY based service. I am relieved that NYS has finally joined the other 49 states that allow blood products to be carried on medical helicopters. I’d like to especially thank Travis and his family for turning this life changing event into the opportunity to change state policy. Lives will be saved as a result.”

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 and ultimately be signed into law by Governor Hochul. 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 got results and fixed 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 new law helps ensure that 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 thanking the Governor for signing 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."