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‘I’m glad that my story fueled this legislation’; State officials celebrate passage of air ambulance bill

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- For some, the sound of a helicopter might just sound like a helicopter. But for someone like Travis Flanagan, it’s the sound of hope and a second chance at life. 

In March, Flanagan was involved in a farming accident that left him as a double amputee. He was airlifted from Greene to Syracuse in an air ambulance based out of Pennsylvania. It might sound confusing as to why another helicopter responded to the call, but the location made all the difference.  

New York State is the last place in the United States that did not allow for blood products to be transported by air ambulances; something that was crucial to Flanagan's survival.  

When Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D) found out about the situation, she sprang into action alongside Assemblyman Joe Angelino (R) and NY State Senator Fred Akshar (R). Together they rallied across party lines to pass a bill that would reverse this rule.  

“We got this passed in a little over two months, and now the Governor needs to sign it and I don't see any reason why he should not," said Lupardo surrounded by Flanagan’s family and friends.

Flanagan himself says that he would never have expected a change to come out of his accident.  

“I'm lucky to be here. I'm lucky that something that happened less than three months ago that could have saved my life, that that's something that is in legislation and something that should go into law.” 

He adds that he is very thankful to everyone that has helped him, and this bill pass.  

“Thank you to everyone who has been involved and I can't say enough about how proud I am of this community of what you guys did for me.” 

The next step for the State Representatives and Flanagan is to send a message to Governor Cuomo, urging him to sign this bill into law. 

Alex Ladstatter

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