Photo: Doreen firefighter Mark Jackson is donating blood for this year's Emergency Services Blood Drive.
CFA brigades across Victoria are stirring up interest among members to roll up their sleeves in this year’s Emergency Services Blood Drive and for the first time, Doreen Fire Brigade is signing up for the challenge.
Whether they’re veteran blood donors or first timers, CFA members are stepping forward to save lives as part of the annual Australian Red Cross Lifeblood initiative.
Doreen Fire Brigade will have more than 10 members making contributions to the emergency services donor tally, ranging from regular blood donors to first timers.
Doreen volunteer firefighter Mark Jackson has been giving blood and plasma for years and will continue over the coming weeks as a CFA member.
“I’ve made 45 donations of whole blood and plasma to this point,” he said.
“I choose to give blood because I want to give back to the community in some small way, which is the same reason that compelled me to join CFA.
“Our brigade is very active and community-spirited, so it’s great to be able to do this together.
“Giving blood or plasma doesn’t cost me anything but an hour every now and then – if it’s saving lives and making a difference, then why not get involved?”
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.
Doreen Captain Rob Bury said some members have people close to them who are regular recipients of blood donations, which serves as another motivator for Doreen brigade to get behind the initiative.
“We have four members who will be giving blood or plasma for the first time,” he said.
“We’ve got a great team who is motivating one another to get involved this year.
“Our brigade jumps at initiatives like this – it builds camaraderie and teamwork among our members, all while saving lives.”
All Victorians, including CFA members, are encouraged to donate from now until 31 August to be a part of this challenge.
“Why wouldn’t you take a little time to help somebody and save a life or two? As firefighters, it’s what we do – so this is another good deed,” Mark said.
You can register to donate at www.lifeblood.com.au. To find a donor centre near you visit www.lifeblood.com.au/donor-centre.