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Altru Hospital to get own air ambulance in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS — Altru Hospital will soon have its first-ever air ambulance to transport patients in life or death situations to Grand Forks for treatment.

The new air ambulance program, called Altru Care Flight, will focus on the hospital's current coverage area — south of the Canadian border and two hours east and west of Grand Forks by car. The single-engine prop plane will be based out of the Grand Forks airport. The service is expected to start April 1.

There have been an average of 250 air transports in and out of the hospital each year over the past few years. Right now, the hospital relies on a variety of air medical services to fly patients. Altru will continue working with those providers but is hoping the addition of an airplane will lower costs for patients.

"We felt it would be best to invest in our own aircraft and provide that air transportation out of Altru, which would be more cost effective for patients," said Altru Health System CEO Brad Wehe.

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