Civil Air Patrol’s pandemic-prompted Operation Pulse Lift blood collection mission recorded its 3,000th donated unit for the American Red Cross on April 3, 12 days ahead of the one-year target date for the milestone. By day’s end, the overall total had reached 3,012.
Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Cairns donated the 3,000th unit at the Arizona Wing’s Falcon Composite Squadron 305 building at Falcon Field Airport in Mesa. The mission is on track to reach its new goal of 3,333 units — chosen because it equates to 10,000 potential lives saved — by the one-year anniversary, April 16.
The collection campaign began last year with the Arizona Wing opening its squadron facilities to serve as emergency Red Cross blood donation centers after the COVID-19 pandemic affected staffing levels and forced numerous donation centers across the country to close.
The mission expanded in the fall to include collection centers in other wings and blood donations by Civil Air Patrol members throughout the organization. Members in all 52 CAP wings have donated blood to be added to the total for Operation Pulse Lift. The New York, Oklahoma and Virginia wings are now replicating the mission and hosting local blood drives. The Arizona Wing accounted for 1,702 of the 3,012 units collected as of April 3.