Airlift Northwest gives tours of Yakima-based emergency airplane - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Airlift Northwest gives tours of Yakima-based emergency airplane

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Airlift Northwest gave media and the public a tour of its turbo commander airplane in Yakima today.

The organization takes people from central and eastern Washington to the west side of the state for medical help. They're now basing a plane in Yakima during the day rather than calling one in from Seattle. Executive Director Chris Martin says keeping it here saves about an hour of travel time.

"About 600 patients a year from central Washington come over to western Washington. So, it makes sense for us to be spending the majority of our time waiting here for a flight rather than coming from Seattle," Martin says.

Martin says the plane won't just transport patients from Yakima, but also patients in the Tri-Cities, Omak, and the lower valley. She says it can fly to any of those places in minutes.

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