(story taken from the Wilford Hall Medical Center webpage)
Lackland unveils new bloodmobile
Posted 7/12/2011 Updated 7/12/2011
by Sue Campbell
59th Medical Wing Public Affairs
7/12/2011 - LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Blood Donor Center personnel here held a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 6 to unveil their new bloodmobile.
The blood donor bus, valued at $377,000, is the only one of its kind in the Department of Defense. The climate-controlled vehicle has 1,000 square feet of interior space with six donor beds, each with a drop-down, 17-inch screen that plays DVDs for donor convenience.
“This bus has been in the works since 2002 and will be an excellent tool to help us perform our mission,” said Mr. Robert Purkhiser, technical director of the center. “It will provide more flexibility in scheduling blood drives at various Air Force locations in and around San Antonio.
The Lackland Blood Donor Center supplies blood products to war fighters at overseas contingency operations and to patients at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Brooke Army Medical Center, and the Audie Murphy Veterans Administration Hospital in San Antonio. They collect about 1,100 units of blood each month, supplying more than 50 percent of the Air Force’s wartime quota.
“We provide more blood products than any other blood donor center in the DoD,” said Purkhiser. “But we succeed in this mission because of the strong support from basic military trainees here at Lackland and from donors at all the Air Force installations in San Antonio.”
Blood donor center leaders invited a flight of BMTs to witness the ceremony as they prepared to enter the center to donate blood.
“This project has been a team effort and has provided a state-of-the-art capability,” said 59th Medical Wing Commander Maj. Gen. Byron Hepburn. “We can’t accomplish this mission without these dedicated Blood Donor Center professionals and everyone who donates, especially the basic trainees here at Lackland.”
General Hepburn cut the ribbon during the ceremony, assisted by Col. John Hickman, 59th Laboratory Squadron commander; 59 MDW Command Chief Master Sgt. Richard Robinson; Senior Master Sgt. Sonja Stoute, 59th LSQ superintendent; Tech. Sgt Robert Luna, NCO-in-charge, Lackland Blood Donor Center; Tech. Sgt. Vincent Gella, NCO-in-charge, Infectious Disease Testing; Mr. Ricky Berg, testing technician, and basic trainee Nicholas Marullo, 323rd Training Squadron.