LIFELINE helps found first emergency blood reserve network

JACKSON, Tenn. — Blood centers across the nation are coming together to ensure they are ready for any future disasters.

Blood Emergency Readiness Corps map

Blood Emergency Readiness Corps centers across the country. (Photo from LIFELINE Blood Services)

LIFELINE Blood Services says it has helped form the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps, or BERC.

LIFELINE says BERC was founded to ensure that no blood center is short on blood during a scenario like a mass shooting, or a natural disaster.

“The ugly reality that COVID brought to blood collectors is a disturbing uncertainty and scarcity in the blood supply,” said Caitlin Roach, Marketing Manager of LIFELINE Blood Services. “When disaster strikes, BERC will give us more confidence that the immediate transfusion needs can be met. Unfortunately, we must adapt, because we are not seeing donor awareness or response following recent high-injury events like the summer shootings in Austin, Texas (14 victims), Queens, New York (10 victims), and Collierville, Tennessee (16 victims). BERC provides Tennessee and our partner states a ready-to-go supply of blood to fill the holes appearing in our disaster response fabric.”

For LIFELINE, BERC is meant to serve as an emergency plan for the centers. LIFELINE says this prevents them and other centers from having to rely on a unstable back-up supply.

LIFELINE says that though other states may have sent extra blood in times of need, it was not a gurantee.

“As first responders, we never know what we are going to find when we arrive at the scene of a trauma,” said Chief Eric Turner with the Madison County Fire Department. “We count on blood to be on the shelves so that when we get victims to the hospital or on an air ambulance, our healthcare workers can take over and provide blood if needed for patient care. By joining BERC, LIFELINE is taking yet another step to make sure blood will be there for those in need and supporting first responders in the process.”

LIFELINE says its staff will be stepping up to do to their best work as part of three-week rotating on-call schedule.

You can learn more about donating blood by calling (731) 427-4431 or at

You can read the full news release here.

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