The man who created the organization that has helped thousands of people and saved countless lives has passed away. Douglas Baker, the founder and president emeritus of Mercy Flight, died at the age of 79. Mercy Flight announced Baker's passing on its Facbook page,

Mercy Flight is saddened to announce the passing of our Founder, Doug Baker. Since he was a teenager Doug has served the Western New York community. Formerly as the owner/operator of LaSalle Ambulance Service for nearly 3 decades, Doug’s vision made him a pioneer in EMS in Western New York. He took that vision and founded Mercy Flight in 1981. Doug’s legacy will live on in the thousands of patients that have benefited from this service. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Barbara, his children, and the rest of the Baker family.

Baker's Funeral Service will be held today, Monday, August 22, at 1 pm, at Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo. The interment will be at Forest Lawn Cemetery, 1990 Main Street, Buffalo.

There will be a procession of Mercy Flight vehicles and family after the funeral service that will take Doug to his final resting place. Emergency Services Organizations wishing to attend are asked to do so in uniform. Those wishing to bring apparatus are asked to park along Delaware Avenue, North between the Temple and the entrance to the cemetery and to provide a standing salute as Doug makes his final trip up Delaware Avenue.

Mercy Flight is a not-for-profit company that transports people in need of medical care to hospitals and appointments by air.

In 1981, Douglas H. Baker, owner and operator of LaSalle Ambulance, had a vision to assist more patients in need. Mr. Baker approached several individuals within the healthcare field at the time to jump on board, but due to the immaturity of EMS as a whole, they felt current practices in place were sufficient. Mr. Baker remained dedicated to his mission and found Sister Sheila Marie Walsh, Dr. Matthew Burke, Dr. James Ehinger who shared his vision of providing air medical services to the communities of Western New York.

Mercy Flight will be hosting its annual FUNdraiser:

The BASH
Saturday, September 24, 2022, from 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
The BASH for Mercy Flight will take place at Buffalo RiverWorks, located at 359 Ganson Street, Buffalo, NY 14203. You can buy tickets for The BASH here.

Credit: Mercy Flight of Western New York via Youtube

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