Southern Tier man’s accident prompts law allowing medivac flights to carry blood


Sen. Fred Akshar and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo celebrated Thursday the signing of a new law that allows 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 Southern Tier man, was severely injured in a 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 not allowed 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 life saving products.

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.”

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.”

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.”