Helicopters flown by volunteer pilots land at SIUH with relief supplies

Stephanie Slepian/Staten Island Advance By Stephanie Slepian/Staten Island Advance
on November 09, 2012 at 9:30 AM, updated November 09, 2012 at 10:14 AM

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Photo Courtesy of SIUH
The Eastern Region Helicopter Council is airlifting relief supplies to Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze. They will be delivered by police officers to Father Capodanno Boulevard.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Helicopters flown by 40 volunteer pilots --many of them war veterans -- are airlifting supplies to Staten Island University Hospital on Friday to be distributed to families impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Nine choppers have already landed on the helipad at the hospital's Ocean Breeze campus. Another four are expected throughout the day.

It was organized by the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, a trade organization representing 95 percent of the helicopter pilots in the Northeast and tri-state area.

The effort was part of the Council's Helicopter Emergency Response, established 30 years ago to supply aid in disaster situations.

"Our feeling is we fly here, we live here, we work here," said Jeff Smith, council chairman and a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. "These are our neighbors. I think America is a giving place and everyone is willing to give with the tools they have. These are our tools."

The helicopters were loaded with things like bottled water, snacks, juice, formula, diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, duct tape, plastic totes and storage bins, duct tape, contractor bags, bleach, work gloves, first aid kits, latex and non-latex gloves, flashlights and batteries.

NYPD trucks are delivering the bulk of supplies to Father Capodanno Boulevard. The hospital will also hand out some of the supplies to their affected employees.

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