LocalSYR

Sheriff’s Office says Air 1 will continue to provide service despite flying solo

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh says there is a gap in helicopter coverage in Central New York.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh says there is a gap in helicopter coverage in Central New York.

Sheriff Walsh held a press conference on Wednesday to address the matter.

Walsh’s comments came after State Police decided to move their emergency helicopter from Syracuse to Rochester.

“I think we need to have at least 20 hours a day of coverage. Right now we have 10 hours a day of coverage. We always had 20 hours a day between the State Police and us,” Walsh said.

He says it would cost $250,000 for Air 1 to cover 20 hours a day and he wants Onondaga County to include that money in next year's budget.

Walsh takes issue with those who say the helicopter in Rochester is only 30 minutes away.

He says the time is 45 minutes – and that’s once the helicopter is in the air.

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