Syracuse, NY – Three rescue helicopters that serve Central New York are embroiled in an air war.
Mercy Flight Central, a private service with a helicopter on standby in Marcellus, claims Onondaga County s Air One helicopter and the state police helicopter in the area are jumping calls responding to medical emergencies before Mercy Flight has a chance to go for emergency transports and putting patients in danger.
The Onondaga County Sheriff s Office and state police say they never jump calls and that the closest available helicopter should respond. The key, they say, is who can get the patient to an emergency room quickest. Mercy Flight is suing the sheriff s office and federal government, claiming the Federal Aviation Administration is not enforcing a law that gives medical helicopters first dibs.