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SunCoast Blood Centers joins Blood Emergency Readiness Corps to help respond to mass casualty events

A cooperative of 16 local blood centers in 29 states will make up the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC).

BRADENTON, Fla. — SunCoast Blood Centers, along with local first responders and local regional medical centers, have teamed up to provide solutions that would assist in responding to mass casualty events in the country.

The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) is a cooperative of 16 local blood centers in 29 states that would be ready to respond to any mass casualty or emergency situations nationwide.

Leadership of SunCoast Blood Centers said the mass trauma event in Wisconsin at a holiday parade and at a recent festival in Houston have highlighted the need for a national blood emergency response network. With BERC, the region will be part of providing a solution.

The BERC network has already begun providing services for people in need of blood in response to the shooting at a high school in Michigan Tuesday.

According to SCBC, the nation's blood centers have faced widespread blood shortages in recent months, creating a severely strained national safety net for mass traumas and other high casualty disasters. 

As the region's exclusive local blood supplier, SCBC would help BERC be proactive in its emergency planning, rather than rely on an increasingly unstable, backed up supply plan.

The 16 local blood centers will work on an on-call schedule every three weeks to assist with any blood donation needs across the U.S.

As part of this lifesaving effort, SunCoast is searching for a group of blood donors to become part of the SunCoast Emergency Blood Force who are ready to respond and partner along with first responders in a mass trauma situation.

If you are interested in making a donation, call 1-866-97-BLOOD to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome.