Mercy Flight reaches 15,000 patient milestone

The New York Mills Fire Department held a training session with Mercy Flight Central after Mercy Flight reached a 15,000 patient milestone in May.

Posted: Jun 4, 2019 11:23 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2019 12:14 AM

NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. - The New York Mills Fire Department held a training session with Mercy Flight Central after Mercy Flight reached a 15,000 patient milestone in May.

Mercy Flight was founded in 1992 and is a not-for-profit provider of emergency air medical transport.

When accidents happen, sometimes the injuries are so severe, first responders have to call in a Mercy Flight. Each flight is staffed with trained nurses and paramedics and they are available 24/7 for patients requiring air transport to medical centers across the Finger Lakes and Central New York.

"We only have three bases, we're a very small community based service, under 100 people strong," Matthew Yelton, flight paramedic in Rome said. "We have a base in Canandaigua, Marcellus, and now Rome, New York."

Representatives with the organization say Mercy Flight is New York's premier critical air medical service, helping 15,000 patients. 150 of those patients helped by Yelton.

"This is my dream job, when I started as a base EMT I knew I wanted to fly and this is what I do now, I fly and I educate the first responder public," Yelton said.

The training session at the New York Mills Firehouse was presented by Yelton. New York Mills Fire Chief, Richard Ulinski, says this training is very important. 

"It's a very important piece of equipment that we would use some day whether we had a serious burn patient or some place where we had somebody where we had them trapped and we had an extended extrication, we would need to get the Mercy Flight helicopter in," Ulinski said. 

Ulinski says he has only needed a helicopter once.

"We had a call in, and we were no more than 5 miles from the hospital but we called in a helicopter because we realized that the patient was in the serious condition of traumatic injuries and we had to get them to the hospital as quicly as possible so we did get the helicopter to land on the scene," Ulinski said.

The people that attended the session Tuesday night were able to see a Mercy Flight land at the New York Mills School.

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