PHOTO: Dustin Whitson and Lifestream logo

Deputy Dustin Whitson of the Hesperia Police Department was shot in the line of duty on March 23, 2021. Lifestream is hosting a local blood drive in honor of Whitson. 

HDdailynews.com talked to Lifestream's High Desert Regional Account Manager, Robert Blomker, about the importance on raising awareness for situations like what happened to Deputy Whitson. We also wanted to know how does this blood drive connect with the community. Blomker told us that "the community blood supply is very fragile, right now we are at roughly a 0.3 day supply of blood for our [area.] What happened to Deputy Whitson unfortunately happens more often than we realize, and when it happens, if we don’t have blood on the shelves, there’s a chance things could turn for the worse in those situations." Blomker went on to tell us that the community can potentially turn the blood supply around if they had one more blood donation from each of their donors, or one more brand new donor.

According to an FBI report in 2018, 58,866 officers had been assaulted in just one year. The bureau collected assault data from 11,788 different law enforcement agencies (546,247 officers in total). The officers provided services for more than 250.6 million people or about 76.5% of the nation's population. What they found was that out of the 58,866 police officers who were assaulted, about 18,000 sustained injuries. And 6.1% of those injuries resulted in officers attacked by suspects with a firearm. 

High Desert residents who volunteer to be donors will receive a baseball-style “Count on Me” cap. LifeStream tests all successful whole-blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Donors learn results and if their plasma could potentially help current COVID-19 patients. This test does not detect if the donor is currently infected. Donors receive free cholesterol screening. Please set an appointment by calling LifeStream at 800-879-4484 or visiting LStream.org.

Lifestream says that all blood donors must wear a mask/face covering (mask/coverings with one-way valves to filter outside air are not sufficient), submit to a temperature check and COVID-19 symptom review before being admitted to the donor waiting area.