It’s a monumental day for Mercy Flight WNY as Doug Baker, Mercy Flight’s founding president, announced some amazing news during a press conference in Cheektowaga.
“When Mercy Flight started 36 years ago, pilots were flying a Bell 206, which is the size of a Volkswagen. When I got the idea to start Mercy Flight that was all we could get. We were the only one in the state flying and we thought it was pretty special… and it was pretty special, especially when you’re the only one doing it.”
Throughout the years times changed. Mercy Flight went to a 206L, a larger version of the original 206, a BO105, and a BK117. And then five years ago, Mercy Flight purchased the first Bell 429.
“This was a big step for us, an enormous step forward,” remarked Baker.
Now, an even bigger step forward. Mercy Flight is proud to say they have accepted a $23 million purchase agreement for three more Bell 429s. The Bell 429 is a more modern aircraft that is certified to safety standards and mechanical standards than most helicopters on the market.
The addition of the three Bell 429s will allow Mercy Flight to save even more lives as there will be more helicopters available for rescue and the Bell429 also has faster speeds, allowing rescuers to get to patients quicker when minutes matter most.
Congratulations to all Mercy Flight staff on this wonderful accomplishment and congratulations to the WNY community. You have some real heroes on your side.