The Red25 Emergency Services Blood Challenge may be complete for 2019 – but the squeeze on our blood supply isn’t over, and we need to keep giving.
Emergency services members from all over Australia have been taking part in the Emergency Services Blood Challenge which ran from June until August, hosted by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
In the three months, 56 different emergency services agencies made donations to the cause, saving a massive total of 34,227 lives. That’s a huge 11,408 donations of whole blood, plasma and platelets in only 92 days.
Naomi Engelke, from CFA’s Organisational Wellbeing Team, was working alongside Red Cross on the Blood Challenge in 2019.
“Each year we are amazed at the number of people who roll up their sleeves and donate,” Naomi said. “This year almost 1,000 donations were made by CFA members which will go towards saving 3,000 people.”
The winner of the challenge wasn’t a surprise, with Victoria Police leading the tally board early. CFA people finished the challenge in third place, being the only fire agency in the top five.
Top of the donations tally was Victoria Police with a huge 1,302 donations, followed by NSW Police who managed 1,086 donations. CFA was not far behind with 950 donations, followed by Qld Police Service with 812 donations and South Australia Police with 711.
CFA’s total of 950 donations was an improvement on last year’s 918; we were in a challenge with ourselves – and we won. But the fight isn’t over.
The cold and flu season isn’t over and the donations need to continue. Whether it’s whole blood, plasma or platelets, every donation is appreciated by people who need transfusions or replacements.
One third of blood donations help treat people with cancer, and the blood you donate can be made into 22 different medical treatments.
“Although the challenge has come to an end for this year, the need for blood is always ongoing,” Naomi said. “Australia needs to collect at least 25,000 donations every week to be able to meet the patient demand levels.”
“Any donation, no matter what time of year it is, counts towards the CFA Red25 tally and saves up to three lives. Thank you again to each of you who donated or who shared the word for others to donate. It’s such an important thing you can do in your life and it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service is urging everyone to “Turn over a new leaf this spring” and search for you nearest donor centre at www.donateblood.com.au.