Red Deer emergency service workers are taking a different approach to saving lives.
About 10 emergency service workers stopped by Canadian Blood Services Friday morning to donate blood for the Lifesaving Summer campaign. The goal for this year’s campaign, which runs from Aug. 1 to 31, is to collect 1,308 units of blood and recruit 163 new donors.
The whole process was great for first-time blood donor, fire chief Brian Makey.
“I’ve been around needles my whole career, so it doesn’t really bother me too much. It’s a little different being on the receiving end than the giving end,” Makey said.
While Makey was new to donating blood, others were practically experts. Red Deer firefighter inspector Donna Sherban has donated blood 12 or 13 times, she said.
“It’s my nature wanting to help people, and it’s part of my job,” Sherban said.
Sherban’s mother had cancer when she was younger and knowing that people donated blood encourages her to donate today as well, she said.
The first time Sherban donated blood she was a bit nervous, she said. The staff at Canadian Blood Services is extremely helpful to people feeling those same nerves, Sherban said.
“They’re very encouraging, they’ll take their time with you and will explain to you in great detail everything that’s happening,” she said.
Sherban hopes to encourage others to donate blood, as there is less donations during the summertime and on long weekends, she said.
Every day police respond to a scene where somebody needs blood, said RCMP Inspector Heidi Wild, and with the long weekend, the need for blood increases.
“Statistically, there are a lot of accidents on the long weekend, and there’s a need for blood and first responders get to see that first hand,” Wild said.
Donating blood is “a pretty easy way to do a public service that’s important,” she added.
Seeing members of Red Deer’s emergency services at Canadian Blood Services meant a lot to territory manager of donor relations Shaun Richer.
“It’s fantastic to have everybody come together. It’s really important for us, but it’s also important for them,” Richer said.
There’s a bit of friendly competition with the campaign this year, Richer added.
“We’re having a little bit of fun with it,” Richer said. “We have all the emergency services here, but we’re also encouraging the citizens of Red Deer and Central Alberta to donate on behalf of their favourite team.”