Catastrophe or Small Accident – Blood Needed Daily!

by Claire DeRoin


For Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew, a grand scale catastrophe and massive need for blood isn’t a hypothetical. He’s lived it.

In July of 1989, an airplane carrying 296 people crash landed in Sioux City. The need for blood? Immediate, in quantities hard to fathom. More than 600 Siouxlanders lined up at the Sioux City Donor Center to roll up a sleeve.

“It goes back to Flight 232 when people lined up for over a block to try to donate,” Sheriff Drew explained. “You never know when a tragedy could occur of that magnitude and you want to have [blood] on hand. That’s the important thing. It’s always etched in my mind, that incident, and the importance of donating.”

The infamous crash of Flight 232 isn’t why local emergency departments are so quick to lend their support to the blood donation cause: it’s what they see in every day duties. During annual Blue Blood, Firefighter Appreciation, and Battle of the Badges blood drives, LifeServe sees an outpouring of support both for and from local law enforcement, fire, and paramedics. 

“It’s always good to take part in a good cause, and as a first responder we see almost on a daily basis the need for people to have blood at our medical facilities,” said Andrew Dutler, Crime Prevention Officer with the Sioux City Police Department. ” Whether that be unfortunate car accidents or personal accidents with people doing projects at home. It comes up pretty frequent where people may need blood so it feels good to participate in things to generate interest in people donating blood.”

Officer Dutler has organized several Blue Blood and Battle of the Badges blood drives with LifeServe Blood Center. He encourages 
community organizations and businesses to try their hand in saving lives.

“It’s easy, it’s fun, and rewarding,” Officer Dutler said. “I would say it’s easy and painless. We live in a community where by and large people just kind of wants to help everyone out and that’s nice to see these days. Really, it’s all about getting the word out that blood is needed. I think you’ll see in your organization, your agency that people are willing to jump on board because it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. It’s just a little bit of time.”

A little bit of time to save local lives. You never know when your neighbor, friend, or loved one might be the one in need of blood.

“Knock on wood, we’ve been pretty fortunate,” Sheriff Drew said, “but that day could change and we rely on not only our own but the public to help us. It’s important for really all first responders. People realize when there’s an emergency they’re willing to come out, but we could help that cause by being proactive and donating ahead of time.”