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JUNE 30 - JULY 08, 2015

Mercy Flight May Come to Niagara Air Reserve Station

By Tony Farina

JUNE 30, 2015

State Sen. Robert Ortt (R- North Tonawanda) announced on Monday that $500,000 in state money has been secured to establish an emergency management hub at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station that could eventually include Mercy Flight WNY to utilize the base’s hangers for emergency services.

Doug Baker of Mercy Flight said in a statement that “utilizing the pre-existing assets of the Niagara Falls air base will help expand our emergency services presence in Orleans and Niagara County.”

Baker credited Ortt for helping to secure the funding that he said will help residents obtain more efficient access to life-saving services.”

Ortt said the money is being allocated as part of the state budget (Empire State Development) “to help base retention efforts for NFARS,” and added that he believes the $500,000 will help retain the base while expanding emergency services across Western New York.

 “As elected officials, we need coordinated efforts at the local, state, and federal level to ensure NFARS remains a vital center of military, commercial, and emergency services for our region,” Ortt said.  “By focusing on this emergency management component, we’re strengthening not only the base, but the community safety as well.  These public-private partnerships—with collaboration at the local, county, state, and federal level—is key to the base’s future.”

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is Niagara County’s largest employer and is an economic driver for the region bringing in nearly $150 million annually, according to Ortt’s announcement.  There are more than 3,000 full-time and part-time personnel with an estimated annual payroll of $88 million.  Sitting adjacent to an international border, it is within proximity of a population of 140 million people and has played an important role in military missions abroad as well as disaster response at home.





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©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina