GIVING – From left

Police and emergency services partner for blood challenge

  • Jan. 9, 2013 4:14 p.m.

Red Deer’s Sirens For Life blood donation campaign has officially launched.

Sirens For Life is a partnership between the Red Deer Emergency Services and the Red Deer RCMP where they each see how many blood donations they can bring in during the month of January.

In previous years the RCMP and Emergency Services have battled it out in a competition to get donations, however, this year they are joining forces and working together towards a common goal.

“The RCMP and Emergency Services work hand-in-hand so it is nice when we can work together for a good cause like raising blood for people who need it,” said Deputy Fire Chief Greg Adair.

“In our line of business we see accidents and people in need all the time, so hopefully this will help them,” said Adair. “Plus, it is always good to have a little extra.”

This is the 11th year that the Sirens For Life campaign has been running. Since its beginning in 2003 it has helped bring in 82,000 blood donations across the province. Each donation can save up to three lives.

This year’s theme is 9-1-1. The goal is to save 911 lives by bringing in 304 blood donations. Adair and RCMP Superintendant Warren Dosko were the first to make donations for Sirens For Life 2013.

“This campaign is important for a couple of reasons,” said Dosko. “From the emergency services perspective we see the need on a daily basis so we know how important it can be to give blood. Personally I think that it is a way we can give back to our community and residents and be an important part of the community.”

As a leader in the community Dosko feels the need to encourage members of the police force and the residents of Red Deer by setting an example. This is the second year that Dosko donated blood for this cause in Red Deer and he has donated in other communities in Alberta in past years.

“If we can set an example for the rest of the community to follow and get out and donate blood then I think it is a great opportunity to show the importance of getting out there and donating blood. I would encourage everybody who has the opportunity to come out and donate because it is such an important part of the community. There is always a need for more,” said Dosko.

Tanya Paul, community development coordinator with Canadian Blood Services in Red Deer agrees that there is always a high demand for blood.

“We try to call on the residents of Red Deer to come out and help support this campaign and we are always in need of new donors,” said Paul. “Looking forward there is always a need for blood. We need those people who are donating to keep donating and people who are concerned to donate to come in and make it happen.”

Each month the Red Deer area needs between 900-1,000 units of blood.

People wanting to come in and donate towards this campaign can call Canadian

Blood Services at 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

treid@reddeerexpress.com

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