CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – The Community Blood Center is part of a network that boost the country’s blood supply in times of tragedy and natural disasters.

The Community Blood Center (CBC) announced Wednesday it joined 30 blood centers across the country that will set aside extra units of blood that will be ready to go wherever the need is.

CBC joined the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC).

Through BERC, the CBC is put on a weekly rotating on-call schedule with 30 other blood centers.

The CBC will set aside 10 Type O positive and four Type O negative units of blood that are ready to send across the country at a moment’s notice.

“What truly is needed is blood readiness and blood that’s already there,” Director of Hospital Laboratory Services Gavin Patch said.

When an injury that requires blood happens, a transfusion is often needed for that patient within 24 hours.

“Even a single trauma patient that’s seriously injured can consume tens of units of blood over a period of hours to days, just one, so you can see how quickly we can outstrip local blood supply,” Premier Health Emergency Physician Dr. Randy Marriott said.

In cases of mass shootings, multi-vehicle crashes, or natural disasters, having enough supply on hand for mass transfusions is vital.

“The Oregon District shooting, and the tornadoes in 2019, we were pretty close in those two situations to be able to need that in our region as well,” Patch said. “It just kind of highlights the need for this initiative and we’re excited to be in it.”

Before BERC, blood centers would rely on what supply neighboring centers had in stock, now the supply is guaranteed.

For our first responders, BERC becomes another form of mutual aid.

“Police, fire, EMS, public health, law enforcement, we all use mutual aid all the time,” Dayton Fire Department MMRS/RMRS Coordinator David Gerstner said. “It doesn’t have to be a huge incident for us to call for mutual aid from our partners, and this is just a further example of mutual aid with our blood banks working together to be prepared for these incidents.”

Once CBC’s on-call week is over, if the units of blood set aside weren’t needed, they can go back on the shelf to be used in the 17 counties CBC serves.

BERC has been activated successfully three times since its formation in Sept. 2021