University of New Mexico Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare Services announced today the merger of Lifeguard and PresAir fixed-wing air ambulance services. The new air transport service will be known as New Mexico Lifeguard Air Transport. It is sponsored by Presbyterian Healthcare Services and will be operated by UNM Hospital.

The merger increases the accessibility of critical care for adult, pediatric and maternity patients with the full support of Albuquerque's premier trauma and cardiac centers. The fixed-wing air ambulance service features expanded hours of service with 24-hour availability. The service is staffed by highly qualified flight crews, who are stationed at Albuquerque International Airport around the clock for immediate response.

"New Mexico Lifeguard Air Transport provides added value to the citizens of New Mexico by greatly enhancing access to state-of-the-art healthcare. The alliance and collaboration with Presbyterian demonstrates our commitment to the health and welfare of the people we serve during their most critical moments of need," said R. Philip Eaton, M.D., Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of New Mexico.

"We're proud to collaborate with UNM Hospital in the best interest of patients in New Mexico. Our combined service will be able to provide the same level of quality that patients enjoyed before, and we will use fewer resources to provide it," said Jim Hinton, CEO of Presbyterian Healthcare Services.

Unlike smaller air ambulance services around the state, New Mexico Lifeguard Air Transport will continue to transport acute cases (such as newborns, trauma, critical cardiac, etc), not just stable patients.

Hinton and Eaton both commended employees of the air transport service for their commitment to patients during the transition. Both UNM and Presbyterian expect the new collaboration will save significant resources by combining staff training, billing, dispatch services, equipment needs and more.

New Mexico Lifeguard Air Transport provides patient transports throughout the country. Emergency services are provided throughout New Mexico and parts of bordering states. For air transport of patients to UNM Hospital or Presbyterian Hospital, call the New Mexico Lifeguard Air Transport dispatch office at 1-800-633-5438.
Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322