Message from CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan
On Monday I made my first blood donation as part of the 2021 Emergency Services Blood Challenge.
Making a blood donation is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m excited to say that I recently registered my very first blood donation for team CFA.
One in every three Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime, however only one in 30 Australians donate blood each year.
CFA volunteer Bob Goninon recently marked his 700th blood donation, making the trip from Eildon to Ringwood every fortnight to donate. He has shown an enormous commitment to saving lives by and has donated in all states and territories.
Whether this year will be your first donation like me or if you’re closer to your 700th donation like Bob, my message to you is if you can, make time and donate.
The Blood Challenge is held each year during winter, pitting teams from emergency services agencies across Australia against each other to see who will donate the most blood products – and save the most lives.
Not only is the challenge vital to ensuring Australia’s blood needs are met, it presents a unique opportunity for a bit of friendly competition with our emergency service colleagues.
The challenge officially started on 1 June and runs until 31 August.
Last year we came second overall, registering an amazing 1258 donations and saving 34,227 lives. We were only 59 donations behind the winners - Victoria Police.
We won the highest number of plasma donations for the challenge - an enormous effort and our best year yet.
All our members and the community can register to have their blood or plasma donation counted under the CFA Team.
The Lifeblood team has a number of safety measures in place to protect donors, volunteers, patients and staff during Coronavirus restrictions. You can still donate if you have had the COVID-19 vaccine, but you need to wait at least seven days after each COVID-19 vaccination.
To find out more about the challenge, locations to donate and to register, head to the Lifeblood website here. You can also donate at one of the local pop-up sites across the state, find out more here.
Let’s make this year CFA’s year to take out the Challenge by rolling up our sleeves and saving lives.