Edmonton and area emergency service workers to give blood in Sirens for Life donation challenge

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Emergency service workers in Edmonton and the surrounding area are rolling up their sleeves to give blood in this year’s Sirens for Life campaign.

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Police, firefighters and paramedics in Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer are challenging each other to see who can bring in the most donations, with a goal to collect 5,188 whole blood units and bring in 595 new donors in support of Canadian Blood Services’ Canada’s Lifeline, said Sharon Willey, territory manager of Canadian Blood Services.

“First responders often see the need for blood firsthand in their day-to-day duties,” said Willey. “We work with police, EMS, fire, RCMP, and STARS Air Ambulance, and those are often the first to attend to an accident or whatever the situation may be. And they are very aware of the need for blood and the importance of blood.”

The campaign is also an opportunity to get area residents to donate in honour of first responders as well.

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“You see these people and the jobs that they do every day and here they are giving blood,” Willey said.

“It’s so heartwarming and any person that is eligible and is contemplating to donate, I would encourage you to do it throughout the month of January and because the first responders are donating throughout the month as well, and chances are you’ll see some of these first responders from your own community in uniform donating, which is a pretty amazing experience.”

Willey said the Edmonton area needs about 500 new donors a month.

“As Canadian Blood Services’ most frequent donors are getting older, it’s more important than ever to have new donors give blood now and throughout the year and therefore we’re definitely putting a big focus on that at the beginning of the year,” said Willey.

Donation centres are following all COVID-19 protocols, including the requirement to wear a mask. Donors are also asked to have a snack and drink water prior to their appointment. Refreshments are offered following an appointment but must be consumed outside the centre.

To book an appointment to donate, individuals can download the GiveBlood app, visit blood.ca to find a nearby donor centre, or call 1-888-236-6283.

The Sirens for Life campaign runs from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31.


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