(WHNT) — Despite efforts across the country, there is still a national blood storage, but a new group of blood centers is working to ease the stress of that problem.
The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, also known as BERC, helps get communities blood in the case of a natural disaster, mass trauma situation, or any other large crisis.
“There has been an ongoing issue in the blood supply, particularly when there’s some type of mass shooting [or] mass casualty event,” said BERC Administrator Nelson Hellwig.
Hellwig says the group is less than six months old, but the program has proved to be rewarding.
LifeSouth Blood Donation Center in North Alabama has been approved to be part of BERC. Spokesperson Kami Mitchell says being a part of the program and being called upon, they’ve been able to help people nationwide.
“We’ve already been able to cover two disasters that happened: the tornadoes that happened in Kentucky and throughout the South, and we also covered the Michigan shooting,” Mitchell told News 19.
Mitchell says the program hit the ground running when it comes to disasters and getting blood to these locations quickly. On top of those two mass casualty events, Hellwig says they have helped with one more, including another shooting, making it a total of three events.
Hellwig told News 19 they’re really encouraged by what they’re seeing through the program.
“It’s giving donors a new reason and something they can clearly understand why their donations are so important,” Hellwig said.
BERC started with seven out of 50 independent blood donation centers nationwide participating. They’re now at 27 participating centers, including LifeSouth. If you’d like to get involved and donate, Hellwig says all you have to do is reach out to LifeSouth in North Alabama and make a blood donation.
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