BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Boone County board has approved giving the Rock River Valley Blood Center $10,000 for a new bloodmobile.

“The Rock River Valley Blood Center has been using mobile buses to collect blood in areas where we don’t have access sites for over 20 years,” said Lisa Entrikin, the CEO of the RRVBC. “. I think the average life of a bloodmobile is 10 to 12 years. The fact that one is 23 years old and one is 21 years old just proves how well we take care of them because they are so critical to us. Being able to provide lifesaving blood products to patients in need without them, we would not be able to do that.”

The Center covers 9 counties in Illinois and Wisconsin and only has 4 locations. One of the buses was recently upgraded. After this vote, Boone County joins Winnebago in helping with the second. The Center was a big help during the tornadoes last winter.

“Specifically in Belvidere with the Apollo Theater tornado that happened, that was on a Friday night. My staff was there through the entire night getting every “O Negative” unit of blood that they could that we had on ourselves as well as that was on the shelves of other hospitals to ensure that the four hospitals that saw patients from that tragedy had the blood that they needed to treat the emergency,” Entrikin said.

The vote was 7 in favor and 4 against. Those I spoke to pointed out how the center is vital to the county. However, with the money coming from the American Rescue Plan Funds, there was disagreement on this being the best use.

“It’s given by the state, but it’s taxpayer money. And I’m not calling the blood bank a charity. It’s not a charity. And I understand that. But what I’m looking at here is I just think it’s kind of hard, to ok this money being used for something like that,” said Boone County Board Chairman Rodney Riley.

“When you’re talking about it having an effect in Boone County, he(RRVBC rep.) mentioned that we took all of their O-negative blood during the tornado,” said Board member Alisa Patterson, “I think that is proof in of itself that that blood center is a benefit in the county.”