North Texans Line Up to Donate Blood

Red Cross Web Site offers "Safe and Well" connection

An urgent call for blood donations followed a shooting that left 13 people dead and another 30 wounded Thursday at the Fort Hood Army Post near Killeen.

Metroplex Hospital in Killeen received seven patients that included five men and two women, a hospital spokesman told NBC News. One of the men died at the hospital and two other people were in surgery. Two of the male patients are military members and the remaining five are civilians.

Three other men were airlifted to Seton Medical Center in Austin, while one woman was transported by ground ambulance to Scott & White Hospital in Temple. The hospital said it was also receiving several other gunshot wound victims.

Scott & White Hospital placed a call for blood donations of all blood types on its Web site Thursday afternoon. It also announced that it had closed emergency services to the public.

Carter BloodCare made a special request for type O-negative blood and apheresis platelets for the area. All donors are urged to call 1-800-DONATE-4 or visit to make an appointment. Carter BloodCare said donations over the next few days will help replace the large volumes of blood being requested by hospitals treating the injured from the Fort Hood shooting.

North Texans can donate blood Friday at the American Red Cross on One Medical Parkway in Farmer's Branch between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

"The blood donors in the Dallas/Fort Worth area are helping the people in Fort Hood, because the majority of our blood has shipped down there," said Cameron Ballentyne, of the Red Cross.

The doors stayed open late Thursday for people who wanted to donate, such as Matt Williams, of Irving, who donated blood for the first time.

"I have two sons in the Army," he said. "I thought, 'If they can give up their time, I can give up my time to give blood.'"

Summer Wilson and her mother, Renee, who said they have also have family members in the military, came from Lewisville to donate.

"I would hope that if it was one of my family members that was in the accident, that other people would get out and do something," Summer Wilson said.

"This is a way to show support to our troops, and I think we owe a lot of families that," Renee Wilson said.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross urged anyone who is concerned about a loved one at Fort Hood to visit its Web site and click on the Safe and Well link. That's where you can enter the name of the person you are looking for, or they can search to see if their loved one has registered.

"The situation is still uncertain on the base and it may take several hours before people can register that they’re safe and well," American Red Cross spokeswoman Anita Foster said. "Local residents are encouraged to keep checking the Safe and Well site, as well as trying to make contact via cell phone, e-mail, text messages, etc."

Families can also call a hotline that Fort Hood activated Thursday evening: 254-288-7570 or 1-866-836 2751.

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