No freeze on blood donations as police join Emergency Services Blood Challenge

Winter is coming and Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has thrown down the gauntlet for all emergency services across Australia to roll up their sleeves and donate much needed blood and plasma during the colder months for the annual Emergency Services Blood Challenge.

The NSW Police Force is responding to the challenge with Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb, Commander, Traffic and Highway Patrol, attending the Parramatta Donor Centre today (Tuesday 1 June 2021) to kick off day one of the challenge.

“NSW police are proud to be part of this initiative for another year and we hope to move up the leader board in 2021, and of course, save as many lives as possible,” said Assistant Commissioner Webb.

“As first responders, saving lives is already in our blood and we know how vital donations can be for people involved in accidents or trauma, as well as those with illness, expectant mothers and newborn babies.”

Blood and plasma donation is an essential service and remains absolutely vital all year round, but particularly during the cooler months.”

During Winter, demand for blood increases by 4 per cent, however, one in three donors cancel their appointments, causing a seasonal challenge for Lifeblood.

Emergency services across Australia will be competing against each other to make as many donations as possible and help Australians who need urgent blood from today until the end of Winter (Tuesday 31 August 2021).

“Not all heroes wear capes – or even uniforms – anyone can roll up their sleeves and donate lifesaving blood or plasma,” said Assistant Commissioner Webb.

“With more patients than ever needing blood and donations, this blood drive is critical in ensuring blood stocks over the winter months.”

NSW Police was joined by NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York; Assistant Commissioner Paul McGuiggan and Superintendent Andrew Shurety from Fire and Rescue NSW; Operations Manager Glen Evans from Marine Rescue NSW; Senior Deputy Captain Nathan Barnden from NSW RFS; Jonathan Tunhavasana, Manager Health Relations Western Sydney and Jessica Pearson, Blacktown Hospital Paramedic on behalf of NSW Ambulance; Peter Newington, GM Eastern States, Tony Burchill, GM Partnerships & Business Development, and Lara Neilsen Tender & Proposals Manager on behalf of CareFlight; and Operations Manager Glen Evans and Member Service Manager Adrian Adam from Marine Rescue NSW.

All emergency services will be competing against other teams from across the country for a spot on the podium in one of the five categories: Most donations; Most new donors; Most plasma donations; and Highest year-on-year growth.

Key blood donation statistics:

  • In Australia, a blood donation is needed every 24 seconds
  • Nationally, around 1000 donations are needed every week to assist with accidents and emergencies
  • All types of blood donation are needed in emergency situations to help stop bleeding and assist in recovery, with O-negative the universal and emergency blood type.

About the Emergency Services Blood Challenge

Anyone who is part of an emergency service can join the Challenge by registering a Lifeblood Team, or by joining a team that the service has registered. Once part of a team, any blood product donation made between Tuesday 1 June 2021 and Tuesday 31 August 2021 will be automatically added to the team’s total. Team progress can be monitored throughout the Challenge. The more members in a team, the greater the chances are of securing a spot on the podium.

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