PHOENIX –

CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: One Arizona nonprofit takes blood donation to a new level. Flights For Life flies blood donor deliveries to hospitals all over the state. I joined one of the pilots on a quick journey to help save lives.

JAY OLSEN/FLIGHTS FOR LIFE PILOT: We are on a platelet run to Show Low today.

CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: Jay Olsen is one of the voluntary pilots for Flights for Life. In his free time he delivers blood wherever it’s needed.

JAY OLSEN/FLIGHTS FOR LIFE PILOT: We will be flying to basically every place in the state that has a trauma center.

CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: Flights For Life has been operating in Phoenix since 1984. The nonprofit organization transports human blood 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Last year pilots flights for life completed more than 1,000 missions delivering close to 19,000 pints of blood throughout the state.

CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: After receiving the platelets from United Blood Services, Olsen takes off from Falcon Field Airport for Show Low. After a 40-minute flight he lands, delivers the blood, then it’s back to Mesa. The total round trip is only about two hours, a short amount of time to help save someone’s life.

CHASE GOLIGHTLY/CRONKITE NEWS: Sue Thew with United Blood Services says that with the help of Flights For Life, it takes a fraction of the amount of time to get blood where it’s needed compared to driving.

SUE THEW/UNITED BLOOD SERVICES: It would probably take United Blood Services a full day to transport blood to an outlying hospital, which is something that a Flights For Life pilot could do in about three hours.

JAY OLSEN/FLIGHTS FOR LIFE PILOT: Gives you a good feeling to do what you love to do and have it do somebody some good at the same time. That’s the best feeling there is. And have fun doing.

728x90-SWG-Safety-Web-Banner_2014