The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

May 29, 2014

Geisinger rescue helicopters on the mend

DANVILLE — Geisinger Medical Center expects one of two Life Flight helicopters damaged during Thursday’s hail storm to be operational by the end of the week.

The other aircraft is still being assessed and its return to service is yet to be determined, according to Geisinger spokesman Mike Ferlazzo.

The two helicopters struck had just landed from delivering patients to Geisinger when the storm started at about 3 p.m. There was no time to move them to a safe place away from the hail, Ferlazzo said.

The two helicopters, out of a fleet of five, were based out of Avoca and Minersville. Other helicopters are covering for emergency calls in those areas until repairs are complete. In total, Life Flight covers a service area of 30 counties in northeast and central Pennsylvania.

Bob Davies, chief support services officer for Geisinger Health System, also gave an update during Wednesday’s Geisinger Authority meeting on damage caused by the hail storm.

The overall property damage was “not that significant,” he said. The hail mainly fell on the Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger Woodbine campuses. Coils and machinery on the roofs of buildings on both campuses were bent, but none were broken. “The equipment’s still operating,” he said.

About 137 vehicles out of the approximately 400 owned or leased by Geisinger were damaged.

Some skylights and windows were cracked, but Davies was unaware of any broken glass in Geisinger buildings.

Insurance adjusters were still examining the properties on Wednesday, he said.

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