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Sanford Health Expands Air Ambulance Fleet

Sanford Health Expands Air Ambulance Fleet

(Fargo, ND) Sanford Health has purchased two King Air 200 airplances that are based in Fargo, ND and will serve patients across thousands of iles in the Midwest.  Previously, Sanford's team in Fargo leased one airplane froma 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 four 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.

“Because our service area spans across 131,000 square miles, its important to have an aircraft of this nature available at all times. Commercial aircraft require many hours of maintenance each year; the addition of a back-up airplane virtually guarantees continual availability to transport sick and injured patients throughout a multi-state region,” says Tim Meyer, Director of Emergency Air Transport for Sanford Health.

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 over 2 million miles. By the end of the year, Sanford Healths fleet will include four fixed-wing airplanes and four helicopters with 125 flight nurses and paramedics, 38 pilots, and additional support staff.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and consists of two long-standing organizations that merged in 2009. Sanford is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 112 communities in seven states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing an international clinic in Ireland.

Sanford Health includes 34 hospitals, 116 clinic locations and more than 1,000 physicians in 70 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 20,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with Denny Sanford's $400 million gift in 2007, the largest gift ever to a health care organization in America. This gift is making possible the implementation of the several initiatives including global children's clinics, multiple research centers, eradicating breast cancer and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. For more information, visit

Andrea Voorhees | Sanford Media Strategist | Fargo Region