News Release
Release No.STELPRD4012527
ContactCandice Celestin(315) 399-8393
Syracuse, NY, Aug 30, 2011 --

@@On Tuesday August 30th, at 10:30 a.m. USDA Rural Development New York State Director Jill Harvey announced a three million dollar USDA Direct loan and a $3.5 million USDA loan guarantee with M&T Bank to Mercy Flight Western New York for the purchase of a Bell 429 helicopter. This emergency vehicle is the second one of its kind in the country. It will primarily serve Genesee County, Orleans County and the majority of Wyoming County and will serve the retire region as a backup to Mercy Flight’s other bases of operation in Erie and Cattaraugus counties.

Rural Development and Mercy Flight hosted a dedication ceremony to celebrate the agency’s financial contribution for the new emergency vehicle. The ceremony began with a demonstration of the helicopter. As the State Director landed from the Bell 429 demonstration, she said: “This aircraft is a necessity for Mercy Flight. It is a state-of-the-art, fully equipped emergency vehicle that can meet the needs of patients in three major rural counties in the state. It is designed to have more room for patient care, while reaching destinations faster and with a longer range.” Harvey continued, “This is also important for the well-being of our rural communities and its residents”.

Joining Jill Harvey was; Mary Pat Hancock, Genesee County Legislature Chair, Donald Allport, Orleans County Legislator, At-Large Central Representative, Ray Cianfrini, Genesee County Legislator, Douglas H. Baker, Founding President, Mercy Flight WNY, Margaret A. Ferrentino, Executive Vice President, CFO of Mercy Flight, Sister Sheila Marie Walsh and Father John Gaglione, Mercy flight board members.

USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available by contacting the Batavia office or by visiting Rural Development’s web site at