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Ambulance Services

Altru's Ambulance Services includes a fleet of ambulances and a fixed-wing air ambulance program, Altru Care Flight, that aim to provide the quickest, safest transport care available throughout our region.

Altru provides paramedic emergency services to the majority of Grand Forks county, portions of Marshall County, MN and a large percentage of Polk County, MN. Altru's paramedics are trained to function under an assortment of circumstances since the emergency calls received vary dramatically. Our paramedics maintain proficient emergency care by providing care to nearly 8,950 patients yearly.

To ensure safe and dignified ambulance services for all patients, Altru has added five bariatric capable ambulances to its fleet. These special units feature:

  • Additional space: extra room in the rear of the ambulance for the patient and crew allows for easier access to equipment and added comfort and safety during the transfer
  • Special equipment: larger blood pressure cuffs, a transfer cot which is designed to carry up to 1,600 pounds, and specialty ramps ensure safe transfers in and out of the ambulance

For emergencies, please call 911. For questions related to Altru's ambulance services, please call 701.780.5000.

Ambulance Services

Altru's highly trained professionals are proficient in responding to emergencies.

Access to Help in an Emergency

Altru operates within an Enhanced 911 System. Placing a call for help may be done on any type of phone by dialing 911. A trained dispatcher answers the call and immediately sends an ambulance, first responders and, if indicated, law enforcement.

Responses to calls

Safety is a priority at Altru. When the public sees an ambulance responding with its lights and siren in use, it is responding to a true emergency. All of Altru's paramedic staff attend annual training in driver safety and proficiency. Advanced training and state of the art equipment allow Altru's paramedics to transport a majority of patients to the hospital without lights and sirens. This reduces risk to the patient, paramedics and the public while allowing the paramedics to provide the very best care.

Patient assessment and history

Altru's paramedics begin a rapid assessment of the patient's physical condition. The paramedics can immediately begin treatment and relay this medical information to the emergency room, giving time to prepare for the patient's arrival.

Emergency Interventions

Paramedics are able to perform many emergency interventions at the patient's side or on the way to the hospital. Treatment of injuries or illnesses performed before a victim is taken to the hospital has proven effective to improve the outcome of the illness or injury. Altru's paramedics are trained to recognize situations that call for intervention and act quickly to improve the patient's condition.

Intercept Program

One unique opportunity to being a hospital-based ambulance service is the intercept program. If an outlying ambulance service asks for additional help with a critically ill or injured patient, a paramedic lead team is dispatched to meet them while the ambulance requesting assistance drives towards them. When the two ambulances merge, the team boards the other ambulance and provides advanced care.

Non-Emergency Services

Altru's Ambulance Services offers many non-emergency services. Inter-facility transfers compose the largest portion of non-emergency services, but Altru EMS also participates in community events.


Interfacility transfers use ambulances to move a patient from one facility to another, be it a hospital, long-term care facility or residence. These are typically routine, using an ambulance because the patient is still in need of medical care. Common transfers range from Fargo, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester MN.

Event Coverage

Altru's Ambulance Services provides emergency medical care to all spectators, athletes and staff at University of North Dakota hockey and football games. These events average attendances of 5,000 - 14,000 persons.

Altru provides similar coverage to other large events (i.e. concerts at Ralph Engelsted Arena, Alerus Center and area festivals and celebrations. We also provide emergency services, for spectators, crew and drivers at River Cities Speedway.

When more than 400 people are planned to attend an event, an emergency medical provider should be present.

For more information, please call 701.780.1551.

First Responders

Altru's Ambulance Services is responsible for coordinating the First Responder Network. First Responder agencies have been established in each community in Altru's response area. The network is a combination of paid and volunteer professionals working together with the ultimate goal of saving lives.

The First Responder network is a state of the art system, which makes our region a safer place to live. Nearby First Responder services in the Grand Forks region communities include:

  • Grand Forks Fire Department
  • Reynolds Fire Department
  • East Grand Forks Fire Department
  • Emerado Fire Department
  • Grand Forks Police
  • Grand Forks Airport Fire Department
  • East Grand Forks Police
  • Gilby First Responders
  • Thompson Fire Department
  • Oslo First Responders
  • Manvel First Responders


Training for regional First Responder Services is supported by Altru's Ambulance Services and Regional Emergency Education. Altru provides for the necessary recertification courses.

Medical Control

Medical control is the supervision of local EMS services by a physician as required by the North Dakota century code. Each agency in the Grand Forks region is organized under uniform medical control. Steve Weiser, MD, serves as the medical director for the Grand Forks region First Responder Services. The medical director is responsible for the direct and indirect medical control of First Responder services.

Mass Casualty Preparedness (MCI)

Altru's Ambulance's are prepared for any situation. In the event of an incident resulting in a large number of injured persons, our Mass Casualty Response System includes trained responders and equipment to be on scene quickly. Our MCI trailer can handle the medical needs for over 100 patients.

At anytime, day or night, Altru's MCI capabilities can respond to help manage and provide treatment and transport for a large scale event.

Tactical Medics

Three Altru paramedics are certified in the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Basic Course and the Advanced SWAT Medic Course. These paramedics now form the core of the Tactical Medic Program, a joint venture between Altru Health System and the Grand Forks Police Department.

In addition to the above mentioned national certifications, the Tactical Medics train a minimum of ten hours per month and are on call to respond with the Grand Forks Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) whenever needed. As team members, the paramedics are primarily responsible for the front line, "battlefield" care of citizens and team members injured during SWAT operations. They also represent a sizeable financial commitment from Altru to provide the very best local emergency medical services.

Emergency Vehicles

Knowing what to do when approached by emergency vehicles saves lives. As drivers, we have an obligation to obey traffic safety regulations, including pulling over and coming to a Complete Stop when approached by emergency vehicles.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation states:

  • Emergency vehicles always have the right-of-way.
  • When an emergency vehicle is flashing its lights or using its siren, you must immediately come to a stop along the right-hand side of the road. Remain stopped until the emergency vehicle(s) has passed. Do not stop in the middle of an intersection or road.
  • When an emergency vehicle is parked at the scene of an accident with its emergency lights flashing, drive to the right-hand side of the roadway and stop. Once stopped, you may pass at your own risk if the roadway is clear. If there is a police officer directing traffic at the scene, obey his or her instructions.
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