Red Cross desperately seeking volunteers to transport blood

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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — The Red Cross is in need of 50-60 new blood transportation specialists to start working immediately in Central Virginia.

It takes a certain kind of person to get up in the wee hours of the morning, pack up a truck of supplies and drive around to area hospitals — for free.

But those people are out there, and the Red Cross just needs to find more of them.

Merle Brann has been a volunteer transportation specialist at the Red Cross for more than a year. He says he’s fallen in love with the job and enjoys the people he works with.

But this is not a job to be taken lightly

“If we don’t get them blood," he said, "[patients] die."

There are scheduled blood drop-offs throughout the day, but if a hospital calls with a blood request, volunteers are up and out the door, racing the clock to save a life.

“If someone needs bloods of a certain type in the middle of the night," said Jonathan McNamara, with the Red Cross, "our volunteers are on call and ready to drop off supplies within half an hour."

Many of the current transportation specialists are veterans or retirees, but they all say the work they’re doing is priceless.

To become a volunteer you must:

— Have a valid driver’s license with a minimum of 3 years driving experience
— Be able to verify safe driving record with insurance
— Be able to life boxes weighing up to 45 pounds for hospital deliveries
— Be able to volunteer for two to four shifts per month (flexible schedules available)

Interested volunteers can learn more here.