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Volunteer blood runners

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When you need blood, you need it fast.

Volunteers at United Blood Services in Fargo will leave on a moments’ notice to drive to far-off hospitals.

One couple has been doing it for 14-years.

Dennis Schuschske/United Blood Services Volunteer: "we just think it's for a good cause."

For a retired couple with not a lot to's not a bad gig.

Dennis and Helga Schuschske have been delivering blood for 14 years. They've driven about 150,000 miles for United Blood Services.

Dennis Schuschske: "it gives us something to do, we don't always...we never know, usually, when we're going, so we just get a call and we take off and run, we've got nothing else to do."

Jennifer Bredahl/United Blood Services: "because it is a non-profit organization we need volunteers to help us with different aspects of our business so we are so thankful when they'll step up and help out in many different ways."

Within minutes of getting the call, the Schuschskes will be on the road...this time heading to Detroit Lakes.

UBS has about 20 drivers, mostly retired, who will drive to hospitals in ND, SD, and MN...sometimes resulting in 7 hour trips.

Helga Schuschske/Volunteer: "we know it's worthwhile and when you know you need the blood you need it, and we've heard many stories over the years, that, how they have been helped by the blood."

Hospital officials say they see a lot of volunteers coming through here and they're all saving lives.

Amanda Aho/Essentia Health Medical Lab Technician: "most of these people are on chemo, or, you know, maybe they had a bleed during surgery. All of these things that are life threatening, they are able to bring it to us quickly."

Most of the time the blood is for a single patient… Average citizens dropping everything for the chance to save a life.

The highway patrol will deliver the blood when volunteers are not available or if there is no room for delay.