The most precious thing, next to life itself, is the time required to sustain life by donating blood. Even with the best
intentions, individuals desiring to donate blood find it difficult to schedule time to donate or to travel to a donor center.
In our busy society, the answer to this dilemma is to take "the blood center" to the donors on their schedule using our
bloodmobiles and other portable collecting equipment.
Florida Blood Services’ fleet currently consists of 18 bloodmobiles, four portable blood collecting units, and two blood
express units. These vehicles are in use seven days a week, collecting almost 80 percent of the blood supply.
Bloodmobiles and other portable units are critical to providing the community with an adequate, safe and available
blood supply. FBS serves 34 hospitals and approximately 80 ambulatory healthcare facilities in the three-county
Tampa Bay area of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties.
Additional units are needed to expand Florida Blood Services’ blood collecting efforts across the Tampa Bay community as
well as replacing old equipment. The average lifespan of a bloodmobile in the FBS service area is about eight years.
Units that have traveled more than 500,000 miles are usually pulled from service and scrapped for parts.
Florida Blood Services needs:
Foundations, corporations or individuals providing a unit receive exclusive name recognition inside or outside the
vehicle for the life of the unit with name and/or logo. Bloodmobile donors are also recognized on our lobby area
donor recognition wall inside the Florida Blood Services headquarters building and in our publications distributed
to donors and community supporters.
Large, bus-size, self-contained bloodmobiles with four to six beds cost from $85,000 for a four-bed mobile
converted from a used bus with less than 180,000 miles to $200,000 for a new, large, modern, state-of-the-art,
six-bed unit. Delivery time for new units is approximately five months; retrofit time for used units is
approximately three months.
Camper-size, two and three bed express units are used for small blood drives and in limited access areas.
These fully equipped units cost approximately $50,000.
Portable collecting units are small, van-type trucks equipped with portable collecting equipment used in a
temporary fixed site for either a brief drive with a high volume of donors or for extended periods of time.
These fully equipped units cost approximately $45,000. They are often used for large corporations or in
Expand by four additional mini-vans the blood transportation and courier fleet that brings collected blood
in from the mobiles for testing and delivers tested blood to the hospitals and other medical facilities 24
hours a day, seven days a week. Four-unit cost: $80,000.
Emergency Courier Vehicles
Need for Vehicles to Transport Blood and Transfusion Equipment
Florida Blood Services (FBS), a non-profit community blood bank, is in urgent need of emergency courier vehicles.
These vehicles are used to transport blood, blood products, bone marrow and transfusion medical equipment between
our testing laboratories in St. Petersburg and hospitals and ambulatory care facilities in the Tampa Bay area. They
are also used to transport donated blood from our bloodmobiles and fixed donor sites to the laboratories for testing
and processing. And, they are used to transport thousands of donated blood samples from 30 other blood centers
and hospitals from Maine to Florida and Puerto Rico that are flown daily into Tampa International Airport for
testing at our laboratories.
As the local community blood bank, FBS supplies blood and its components to 36 hospitals and 80 ambulatory care
centers in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Manatee Counties. On average, 425 patients, every day, are transfused
at those local facilities. While much of this is routine in nature, life-threatening situations or other complications
often require emergency transport particularly in the case of rare blood types or extremely serious trauma situations.
To satisfy this critical, often life-saving need, the courier vehicles transport to the FBS St. Petersburg laboratories
more than 750 units of collected blood daily from the bloodmobiles operating throughout the Tampa Bay area and 14
fixed site donor rooms. Additionally, our highly specialized apheresis equipment must be transported regularly to
satisfy special patient demands along Florida 's West Coast. FBS collects from more than 2,000 donors and performs
confirmatory testing procedures every night for more than 30 other blood centers and hospitals along the East Coast
from Maine to Florida and Puerto Rico. These blood samples are flown into Tampa International Airport and the courier
vans pick up these samples several times daily for transport to the St. Petersburg labs.
In addition to supplying bone marrow as needed worldwide through the National Marrow Donor Program network, FBS is one
of 56 accredited national reference laboratories. FBS also serves as a regional and national hub clearing house for
blood and blood products for emergency situations around the world. As an example, FBS is one of six U.S. blood centers
designated by the Defense Department to provide blood to the military in the event of need. FBS shipped blood to the
Defense Department during the Iraq War and coordinated shipments from other blood centers.
FBS' current fleet of 21 transport vehicles, which have an average age of eight years, is on the road 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. In 2002, these vehicles logged 24,960 trips and more than 720,000 miles. The fleet is currently
stretched to its capability requiring the use increasingly of expensive outside, commercial ground courier services,
often on an emergency basis.
With more new vehicles in the FBS Fleet, there would be fewer instances of outside courier service needs. Oldest
vehicles could be replaced. This would greatly relieve the pressure on the existing fleet.
Each new courier vehicle, a specially-designed DaimlerChrysler high top, diesel-powered Sprint van equipped with
emergency lights, costs $33,430, with additional fees of $1,000 for a lift, and $1,000 for exterior covering.
Appropriate recognition for major donors can be arranged on the lower side panels or rear of the vehicles.