Sanford Health expands air-ambulance fleet

Sanford Health has purchased two King Air 200 airplanes that are based in Fargo, ND, and will serve patients across thousands of miles in the Midwest. Previously, Sanford's team in Fargo leased one airplane from a local company.

 The airplanes serve every kind of patient, from the smallest of babies to the most critically injured adults. Each airplane is able to transport two patients, two medical teams (up to five flight nurses and paramedics) and two pilots. The aircrafts can travel approximately 310 mph and are able to transport patients anywhere in the continental U.S. and areas of Canada. The planes are outfitted with the latest emergency transport features and also have autopilot, which is like having an additional pilot in the aircraft.

The cost of each plane was $2.2 million and includes everything from painting to outfitting with specialized medical equipment. Sanford's transition to owning the planes (instead of leasing) is a more cost-effective practice in the industry and will save resources over time.

Since 1984, Sanford's Fargo fixed-wing team has completed nearly 10,000 flights and flown more than 2 million miles. By the end of the year, Sanford Health's fleet will include four fixed-wing airplanes and four helicopters with 125 flight nurses and paramedics, 38 pilots and additional support staff and specialty crew members.

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