New Helicopters Land at Sanford - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

New Helicopters Land at Sanford

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Sanford health has a new upgrade to their medical air transport fleet. They recently purchased three brand new EC-145 helicopters and they're now ready fly. Bringing Sanford's helicopter fleet to a total of four.

The three helicopters will replace the leased choppers that Sanford currently uses. They'll be stationed in Fargo, Sioux Falls, and Bemidji, with a forth helicopter on reserve for back up use.

The new helicopters are state of the art flying intensive care units. They can handle anything from major trauma patients to heart attack victims, even small NICU infants.

Advanced avionics on the new aircraft also allow them to fly differently than the previous choppers. "The EC-145s are Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) rated; therefore they are able to fly in more extreme weather conditions; as opposed to the old models that were only Visual Flight Rules (VFR) rated", says Tim Meyer, Director of Sanford Health's Emergency Air Transport.

The EC-145's also load the patients from the rear which is faster, safer and more efficient for not only the patient but the crew as well.

Sanford transports over 1,000 people per year on their helicopters and will have the new ones in Fargo and Bemidji on-line starting Saturday at 7pm, Sioux Falls is already operational.

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