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Ask a Trooper: How State Patrol 'blood relays' work

Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Trooper

Question: I have a question about the Minnesota State Patrol blood relays. Why did it involve three patrol officers? I know this isn't a great distance and have just been wondering what rules or regulations dictate how this is handled.

Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol is divided into districts across the state. Within each district is a station that has an assigned number of troopers.

Troopers will sometimes take the blood relay a great distance depending on how many other troopers are working within the station/district at that time. Troopers are often tied up with other calls for service (crashes, motorist assists, etc.), which impacts how the blood is transported.

Time is obviously crucial in these situations, so being familiar with the area is critical. Troopers who work their specific district know the area and hospital locations better than troopers from different districts. Troopers making the final leg of the run know the quickest way to get to the hospital, while other troopers may not be as familiar with the area.

This brings up a great reason for giving blood and becoming an organ donor. I have seen where a tragedy for one family turned into a gift for other.

Remember to avoid all distractions while driving and yield to emergency vehicles when their lights and siren are activated.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811. You can follow me on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE or reach me at