November 5, 2012
ERHC Offers Their Service For Sandy Recovery Efforts
CONSORTIUM OF CIVILIAN HELICOPTER PILOTS OFFER THEIR SERVICE TO NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY FOR SANDY RECOVERY EFFORTS

With 40 Available Helicopters & Pilots, Eastern Region Helicopter Council Coordinating Efforts With State Officials

While Sorties Have Already Begun, ERHC Stands Ready to Do More for Recovery Effort


(Colonia, NJ) – The Eastern Region Helicopter Council announced today that it is working with Ocean County, NJ officials to provide helicopter flights to government officials and first responders to survey neighborhoods damaged by superstorm Sandy. These flights are part of a broader offer to help any city and state officials during recovery efforts in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The voluntary assistance is part of ERHC’s Helicopter Emergency Response Program, a 30 year-old effort to provide helicopter response services to those in need.

“We just want to help in any way we can,” said ERHC Chairman Jeffrey Smith. “The members of this organization live here and work here; this is our community. During a time of crisis, we see it as our obligation to do everything we can to pitch in and help those in need.”

In Ocean County, NJ, ERHC has already begun donating helicopter services to aid in the recovery effort. Patrick Day – VP of Operations for Liberty Helicopters, and a volunteer under the ERHC’s emergency response program – began coordinating sorties out of Lakewood Airport on November 4. Additional helicopters and crews are available for flights wherever they are needed throughout the affected area.

During catastrophic situations, corporate members of the ERHC volunteer their helicopters and crews to assist government agencies by transporting officials, medical personnel or supplies. While ERHC corporate volunteer helicopters are not equipped to transport victims, they are able to provide valuable assistance by flying key personnel, including medical, government and emergency management officials, as well as supplies, such as food and water, for victims.

The Helicopter Emergency Response Program is comprised of more than 30 private companies that include 40 helicopters, from businesses located on the east coast from Washington DC to Boston. As part of this voluntary program, these companies offer their aircraft and crews for emergency relief as a service to their communities.

The Emergency Response Program was established approximately 30 years ago by The National Burn Victim Foundation to assist burn victims in disastrous situations within the Northeast region. At that time, the ERHC joined the Foundation’s effort by providing helicopter emergency response support.

Use of helicopters to fly supplies to victims dates to the first helicopter “rescue mission” in January of 1944. Commander Frank Erickson, a US Coast Guard helicopter pilot, flew blood plasma from New York City to Sandy Hook, NJ during a violent storm, helping to save many lives of USS Turner sailors.

For more information about Eastern Region Helicopter Council, or to find out how you can contact the Helicopter Emergency Response Program for aid, go to www.ERHC.org.

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