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Mercy Flight takes to the air for first day

By JOLEEN FERRIS

SCHUYLER, N.Y. (WKTV) - There is new hope as of Monday for local victims of high-impact car crashes and other trauma.

It is the first official day on the job for Mercy Flight, a 'flying ambulance' service based in Schuyler, staffed with full time helicopter pilots, flight nurse and paramedic. The chopper can fly twice as fast as ambulances can drive, getting severely injured patients to the appropriate trauma-level hospital that much quicker.

"We're doing a lot of the same procedures and medications that emergency rooms have," said Neil Snedeker, President and CEO. "So, we're really bringing the hospital environment out to that patient."

Insurance companies generally cover the roughly $17,000 bill for a Mercy Flight. The price takes into consideration the cost of owning, maintaining and fueling the helicopters as well as staffing them around the clock with pilots, and trauma staff.

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