Photo: CFA District 15 A/Acting Chief Fire Officer Gavin Hope (left) and Creswick CFA volunteer Phil Greenbank (right).
Creswick CFA volunteer Phil Greenbank has been donating blood or plasma for more than 40 years and is keeping good habits during this year’s Lifeblood Emergency Services Blood Drive.
He made his 609th donation at Ballarat Donor Centre on Tuesday, 27 June and has encouraged his fellow firefighters to contribute to the organisation’s overall donation tally.
The drive kicked off on 1 June and will run through to 31 August. One blood donation can save up to three lives and Australia needs over 1.7 million donations every year to meet demand: that's three every minute.
Phil’s incredible feat is made up of more than 500 plasma donations, 58 whole blood donations, nine special plasma, 22 platelets, 11 special platelets and one bone marrow transplant since he started in 1981.
He said he’s been donating almost as long as he can remember.
Phil recalls his father was part of a football umpiring cohort that would regularly donate blood together as part of a blood drive.
Phil then chose to tag along with his dad to the donor centre and quickly made a habit of it.
“I did that with my dad for quite a few years until 1989 when I moved to Melbourne, and I just kept it going no matter where life took me,” he said.
“I’ve always participated in the Emergency Services Blood Drive and enjoyed the friendly competition by doing our best to make more donations than other organisations.
“If it helps save people’s lives then I’m always all for it.”
Phil has appealed to his CFA colleagues to join him by rolling up their sleeves for this year’s Emergency Services Blood Drive.
“It doesn’t take much to donate, just a little of your personal time,” he said.
“It’s a comfortable experience – you can relax in the donor chair, take your phone, use your laptop, take a book to pass the time or just watch TV if you like.”
All Victorians, including CFA members, are encouraged to donate from now until 31 August to be a part of this challenge.
“You can walk away knowing that your donation is going to save a life, which is such a rewarding feeling.”
You can register to donate at www.lifeblood.com.au. To find a donor centre near you visit www.lifeblood.com.au/donor-centre.
- Photo: Creswick CFA volunteer Phil Greenbank made his 609th blood donation on Tuesday, 27 June.