In rural America, small medical centers are seeing an influx of patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many patients are being turned away because there is simply not enough room. In New Mexico, Air Methods air medical crews are answering the call to ensure patients can receive proper care.
Crews at Air Methods’ Native Air bases in New Mexico have been spreading the word about what it’s like transporting patients from rural areas to larger hospitals in major cities for treatment.
Members of the crew at Native Air’s Las Cruces base were recently featured in the Las Cruces Sun-News’ Healers and Builders series that recognizes citizens who heal, safeguard, and improve the greater Las Cruces area. The crew gave reporters a look at how they are tackling their new reality transporting COVID patients throughout the region.
In Carlsbad, Air Methods crews are transporting patients across state-lines to receive care due to staffing shortages. Since the pandemic, these crews are transporting more than 60 patients per month, which grew from 40 per month pre-pandemic.
Marnie Hill, an air ambulance pilot for Native Air’s Carlsbad base, said it best: “People are suffering. It’s our job to get them the best care possible. Sometimes the weather gets in the way, but we do the best we can for them. It’s our job. We put ourselves at risk. It’s as controlled a risk as we can make it.”
Check out recent coverage of the selfless work Air Methods’ Native Air crews are doing in Las Cruces and Carlsbad.