Four NSW Police commanders are going head-to-head to see which one of their Local Area Commands can donate the most blood, as part of the Australian Red Cross’ Emergency Services Blood Challenge.
The state-wide challenge, on now, will run until August 15, and will see local police, firefighters, paramedics and emergency response workers and volunteers face off to see which is the most generous emergency service.
Hawkesbury Local Area Commander Steve Egginton rolled up his sleeves alongside commanders from St Marys, Penrith and Blue Mountains LACs for the challenge on Tuesday, and said the race was on to encourage as many of his staff as possible to donate blood during the challenge period.
He said making a blood donation takes just a few minutes and can save a person’s life
“We as police officers respond to everyday incidents where people are caught up in a variety of situations whether it be car accidents, assaults, even natural disasters, where blood donations are really the lifeline for these people,” Supt Egginton said.
“It takes just a few minutes of our time to make a blood donation which can in turn save more lives.”
A trophy will be presented to the Local Area Command that donates the most blood during the challenge period of July 21 and August 8.
Blood Service spokesperson Elissa King said winter blood stocks were dwindling, and that up to 1000 appointments a week were being cancelled due to donors feeling unwell – most reporting cold or flu-like symptoms.
“We’re calling for extra donors to come forward over the next few weeks, with a particular need for O negative blood donors,” Ms King said.
“O negative is the universal blood type used in emergency situations, and it is presently the most in demand.”
Ms King said one in three people need blood in their lifetime, and it was important to find more everyday heroes, just like our emergency service workers and volunteers.
■ Details: call Red Cross on 131495 or visit donateblood.com.au.