The helipad was built in the hospital’s southwest parking lot near East Avenue, and replaces a previous designated Mercy Flight landing site near Davison Road. The helipad’s development was the result of a collaborative effort between the hospital, Mercy Flight and the Lockport Fire Department.
The new helipad is expected to improve emergency response times across the region, particularly for patients who require rapid transfer for specialized emergency care.
Prior to the helipad’s official opening, Mercy Flight successfully conducted several test flights and landings at the hospital, as well as completing a trial emergency flight, in the two preceding weeks.
Hospital CEO Anne McCaffrey told local newspaper the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal: “The new helipad’s close proximity to our Emergency Department is key to expediting care for those who need it.”
LFD Fire Chief Luca Quagliano added: “Having the ability to minimize the distance between the emergency room (ER) and the helicopter, and eliminate the need to transport the patient to and from an off-site landing zone, will provide a vast improvement in patient out-of-facility time and overall patient comfort.”
Mercy Flight now carries blood onboard its aircraft
Mercy Flight also announced a partnership with blood and organ donor network ConnectLife in late July, enabling them to carry O type blood on air ambulance flights from this summer.
The blood will be used to treat patients suffering from severe blood loss – in a statement Mercy Flight and ConnectLife estimated that around a third of patients transported via air ambulance are in this condition.
It follows the passing of a law by the government of New York in the last week of 2021, which allows air ambulance crews to carry and use blood for emergency transfusions. Prior to the law’s passing, New York was the only state in the US which did not allow air ambulances to carry blood for trauma victims.