Civil Air Patrol

41 Blood Drives, 1,291 Blood Units Donated to Save Lives

The 41st Operation Pulse Lift Blood Donation Center (BDC) operation since mid-April took place on November 25 at the Cochise Composite Squadron in Sierra Vista. Since the COVID blood donation mission began, 1,291 units of blood have been donated.

“Today again, the Cochise Squadron went far over the donor average (27) to help collect 35 units of blood,” said Incident Commander Lt. Col. Bob Ditch. “This took the total amount of blood donated to 91 units over the planned annual goal of 1,200.”

Ditch expressed his thanks to the 157 members from across the Arizona Wing who helped to make a difference in the lives of 3,873 people who benefited from the donated blood. He especially noted the work of Arizona Wing Safety Team members for their efforts to ensure that all 41 blood drives were conducted safely.

Members of the Arizona Wing, who supported the ongoing COVID-19 blood donation mission received an unexpected recognition and Thanksgiving gift from the national and regional headquarters of the American Red Cross. All members who have worked on the mission will be presented with an Operation Pulse Lift commemorative challenge coin, designed and produced by the Red Cross/ This is in recognition of the Arizona Wing’s peerless service during the largest, longest-running blood donation mission in the nation, collecting 1,291 units of blood through an unprecedented 41 blood donation events.

Ditch is still asking for anyone in the wing who has donated blood independently (outside a CAP-sponsored blood drive) to contact him ( so those donations may be added to the total.

The November 25 blood drive concluded the 2020 schedule of donor events, but the Wing remains on-call for the rest of the year, to support its partners at the American Red Cross, for no-notice and backfill needs. The next scheduled blood drive will be in early January in Tucson.

The current Operation Pulse Lift stats are as follows:

  • Total blood units collected over three years prior to COVID missions: 527
  • Total blood units collected during seven-month COVID mission: 1,291
  • Total blood units collected via Operation Pulse Lift: 1,818 
  • Total lives potentially saved: 5,454
  • Total person encounters in 2020: 1,613 (Includes those screened and not approved to donate for various reasons)
  • Total COVID cross-infections to CAP personnel: 0   
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