Communicating is the passion of SC Communications, a Bakersfield-based company that specializes in the sale and maintenance of two-way Motorola radio systems, as well as Samsung business telephone systems. And SC Communications has used this passion to also support Houchin Community Blood Bank.

Company founder Skip Chandler has not only been a yearslong, regular Houchin blood donor, he and his company have helped sponsor numerous blood drives, particularly when local blood supplies are critically needed.

“We figure that Kern County has been good to us and what better way to give back?” said Chandler, who founded his Motorola dealership in 1993. “Besides, look at all the people this helps. You really get to touch a lot of people in a positive way. You’re not giving to one person, but to many.”

SC Communications helps communicate support for Houchin and encourages people to donate blood by its founder’s personal example of giving — both of his life-saving blood and of his company’s dollars. His sponsorship of blood drives has included the donation of prizes and other incentives used during promotional campaigns.

Supporting Houchin is a family tradition, as well. With Chandler’s retirement earlier this year, leadership of the company passed to his daughter, Jamie Hastings, a longtime SC Communications employee and now the company’s owner and president.

Hastings said she intends to continue her father’s support for Houchin by both donating blood and financially supporting blood drives.

“This is such a good cause. I am proud to continue the company’s support for Houchin,” said Hastings, noting that many first-responder agencies are SC Communications’ customer. “Like these agencies, Houchin is dedicated to serving the people of Kern County.”

Hastings said supporting Houchin is also a way for SC Communications to express its appreciation for its business success. Technological advances in recent years have increased the popularity and use of two-way radio systems by businesses and public agencies.

“We do a lot of work with local fire departments and police departments,” Hastings said. “But our customers also include construction and oil companies, trucking companies, hotels and many other small businesses. All schools, for example, have radio systems, especially in their school buses.”

Customers rely on dedicated two-way radio systems, rather than cell phones, for a variety of reasons, she explained. These reasons include the fact that two-way radios focus workers’ communication on “company business,” rather than private conversations. Two-way radios also have unique features, such as GPS tracking, which can monitor the location of vehicles and workers, and cost less than cell phone systems.

Houchin is grateful for the support it receives from local businesses, such as SC Communications. During the approaching holiday season, Houchin’s blood supplies can reach precariously low levels. Regular donors and student donors are away from home and unable to donate. Outdoor activities, such as holiday travel, can result in tragic accidents that require transfusions of whole blood and blood products, such as plasma and platelets.

Consider some of these average demands for blood: cancer (8 units a week), leukemia (2 units a day), heart bypass surgery (5 units), bleeding ulcer (30 units), hip replacement (5 units), brain surgery (10 units), sickle cell anemia (4 units per treatment), auto accident victim (50 units) and organ transplant (40 units). There have been instances where patients receiving a liver transplant required 100 units of blood.

Blood is composed of a mixture of cells that are suspended in a fluid that is called plasma. Red cells transport oxygen around the body, replenishing organs and tissue. White cells fight off such things as bacteria and help prevent infection. Plasma, which contains proteins, salts and clotting factors, is the liquid component of blood. Platelets, which are very small fragments of cells, work with plasma to help prevent bleeding.

When a patient undergoes chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat an aggressive cancer, for example, the treatment can destroy their bone marrow, where blood cells are formed. Until the bone marrow can recover, the patient will likely need platelet transfusions to survive.

Businesses are encouraged to call Houchin Community Blood Bank at 661-323-4222, or 877-364-5844 to schedule a company blood drive. Individuals can call those same numbers to schedule a time to donate blood.

Greg Gallion is the president and CEO of the Bakersfield-based Houchin Community Blood Bank. For more information about donating blood, platelets and plasma, go online to www.hcbb.com.

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