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Life Link III to open helicopter base in Alexandria

Something new is coming to Alexandria - something that could save lives.

Life Link III received approval from the Alexandria City Council last week for a ground lease from which to operate a medical transport helicopter base.

According to representatives from Life Link III, one operational air ambulance would be kept at the Alexandria hangar, with the possibility of one back-up air ambulance also being located here. The air ambulance would be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Staff would include a nurse, pilot and mechanic.

About Life Link III

Life Link III was formed in 1985 and is now a leader in ground and air medical transportation. It provides critical care, advanced life support and basic life support transportation for patients in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. via ground ambulance, helicopter and airplane ambulance.

Service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for emergency or non-emergency transports.

Life Link III ground operations and administration are based in Minneapolis, with an additional ground inter-facility and 911 base in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.

Helicopter bases are currently located in St. Cloud, Hutchinson, Anoka and Hibbing, as well as in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, with plans to build another in Alexandria.

Life Link III is a nonprofit consortium made up of eight healthcare organizations - Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Fairview Health Services, Hennepin County Medical Center, Regions Hospital, St. Cloud Hopsital/CentraCare Health System, St. Luke's Hospital and Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Life Link III transports are not committed to take patients only to these facilities, however. Patients are transported to facilities determined by their own physician.

Last year, Life Link III transported about 20,000 patients. Approximately 90 percent of those were transported from one medical facility to another.