Contact: Jennifer Riordan, 272-0261 office, 220-0702 cell, Allie Thompson, 272-3690 office

UNM Hospital Lifeguard Expanded Service and United Blood Services Host Demonstration and Blood Donation Event Lifeguard Air Emergency Services, the air ambulance for University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH), and United Blood Services (UBS) are teaming together at a flight demonstration of a new aircraft and blood donation event Thursday, August 12, at 2:30 p.m.

UNMH Lifeguard Expanded Services, a state-of-the-art facility for New Mexicans, carries UBS blood on every emergency flight. UNMH Lifeguard Expanded Services is based out of Albuquerque, Taos and Grants, NM - the most recent location which began operations this July 23. "We are continually striving to improve our services to provide all of New Mexico with access to air emergency services," said the director of Lifeguard, Gerald McGraw.

During summer, there is always an increased need for blood donations. Last year, more than 40 patients received transfusions to keep them alive while in flight. With the introduction of its latest location in Grants, Lifeguard Expanded Services is reaching more New Mexicans than ever before and the number of in-flight transfusions is expected to increase.

UNMH Lifeguard carries Type O blood, the blood type that can be given to any patient, on all of its emergency flights. Another addition to the Lifeguard Air Emergency Services is night-vision goggles for the pilots.

The night-vision goggles (NVGs) allow pilots better vision at night and during inclement weather conditions. The pilots will receive a minimum of 13 hours of training and will train in all aspects of flight, including in-flight air emergencies.

"UNM Hospital is recognized for its technologically advanced systems, and the NVGs are a great example of that," said McGraw. "The NVGs are a premier safety measure for our pilots, as well as the patients we transport."

The helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft operating in Albuquerque are staffed 24 hours a day. The medical flight crews consist of experienced pilots and highly trained flight nurses and paramedics.  The medical crews maintain constant radio contact with the medical control emergency physician before and during the flight.

To help with the increased need for blood, a United Blood Services bus will be at the event taking blood donations. United Blood Services has been the area's non-profit community blood provider since 1951, and is one of the oldest and largest blood service organizations.

Lifeguard Air Emergency Services was the first program in New Mexico and the second in the nation to receive accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Transport Services.  Lifeguard is an active member of the Association of Air Medical Services.

Contact: Jennifer Riordan, 272-0261 office, 220-0702 cell, Allie Thompson, 272-3690 office

UNM Hospital Lifeguard Expanded Service and United Blood Services Host Demonstration and Blood Donation Event Lifeguard Air Emergency Services, the air ambulance for University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH), and United Blood Services (UBS) are teaming together at a flight demonstration of a new aircraft and blood donation event on Thursday, August 12, at 2:30 p.m.

UNMH Lifeguard Expanded Services, a state-of-the-art facility for New Mexicans, carries UBS blood on every emergency flight. UNMH Lifeguard Expanded Services is based out of Albuquerque, Taos and Grants, NM - the most recent location which began operations this July 23. "We are continually striving to improve our services to provide all of New Mexico with access to air emergency services," said the director of Lifeguard, Gerald McGraw.

During summer, there is always an increased need for blood donations. Last year, more than 40 patients received transfusions to keep them alive while in flight. With the introduction of its latest location in Grants, Lifeguard Expanded Services is reaching more New Mexicans than ever before and the number of in-flight transfusions is expected to increase.

UNMH Lifeguard carries Type O blood, the blood type that can be given to any patient, on all of its emergency flights. Another addition to the Lifeguard Air Emergency Services is night-vision goggles for the pilots.

The night-vision goggles (NVGs) allow pilots better vision at night and during inclement weather conditions. The pilots will receive a minimum of 13 hours of training and will train in all aspects of flight, including in-flight air emergencies.

"UNM Hospital is recognized for its technologically advanced systems, and the NVGs are a great example of that," said McGraw. "The NVGs are a premier safety measure for our pilots, as well as the patients we transport."

The helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft operating in Albuquerque are staffed 24 hours a day. The medical flight crews consist of experienced pilots and highly trained flight nurses and paramedics.  The medical crews maintain constant radio contact with the medical control emergency physician before and during the flight.

To help with the increased need for blood, a United Blood Services bus will be at the event taking blood donations. United Blood Services has been the area's non-profit community blood provider since 1951, and is one of the oldest and largest blood service organizations.

Lifeguard Air Emergency Services was the first program in New Mexico and the second in the nation to receive accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Transport Services.  Lifeguard is an active member of the Association of Air Medical Services.