City Police, Fire and EMS participate in blood donor challenge

July 07, 2011

City police, firefighters and paramedics are rolling up their sleeves and giving the gift of life as part of the Sirens for Life blood donor challenge.

The challenge runs from July 1 to September 5, and members of Cornwall's three emergency services will engage in a friendly competition to donate the most blood.

"I am happy to see that our local emergency responders are participating in this year's Sirens for Life event," said Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger. "Our police officers, firefighters and paramedics are dedicated to saving lives and keeping our community safe, and their involvement in this program is yet another example of that dedication."

For this year’s  challenge, Canadian Blood Services hopes to collect 250 units of blood in Northern and Eastern Ontario.

"The need for blood doesn’t take a summer vacation and police, fire and EMS workers know this more than most. That’s one of the reasons the workers of each branch are rallying together and rolling up their sleeves to donate the most blood for their community," says Carolyn Boucher, Community Development Coordinator at Canadian Blood Services.

"They are on the frontline everyday and know lives can change in an instant. Anyone can need blood at anytime."

It takes far more blood than most realize to help save a life. It can require 50 units of blood to save a person in a car accident. That equates to 50 blood donors. Patients treated for leukemia can need 8 units of blood every week, which translates to 8 blood donors each week.

Heidi Roy (Van de Glind) and her husband are proud parents of two beautiful children, including 21-month-old Aliya. She is the reason that Heidi and Kevin are encouraging people to donate blood during the Sirens for Life blood donor challenge this summer in Cornwall.

Baby Aliya spent the first five weeks of her life in hospital, undergoing two heart surgeries to correct what physicians initially thought was a common abnormality. However, complications arose when they discovered that her aorta was in fact behind her heart, which is extremely rare.

She was briefly sent home before returning to hospital for emergency surgery. At two months of age, she underwent 16 hours of open-heart surgery.

Aliya is now happy and healthy and her mother could not be more thrilled. "Several people played a vital role in Aliya’s survival. Hospital staff, family members and friends were among those who provided endless support," says Heidi. "I wish I knew all the selfless donors who donated their time and blood for her; I would love to thank each and every one of them for giving Aliya the opportunity to thrive."

"Our family will forever be grateful to the blood donors, emergency services’ personnel and the hospital staff, all of whom worked together to give her and her family the gift of a lifetime," says Heidi. "I hope people will be inspired by our story to make a blood donation this summer during the Sirens for Life challenge."

Canadian Blood Services urges local residents to also rally behind emergency services staff and donate blood at local clinics. Blood donations from Sirens for Life personnel and supporters help combat an increase in the number of missed and cancelled appointments due to vacations and busy schedules. Missed and cancelled appointments intensify the difficulty of maintaining summer blood inventory levels at optimum five-day supply levels.

To make an appointment to give blood this summer, to learn about eligibility requirements or to find the nearest clinic location, call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or visit the Canadian Blood Services website.

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 43 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

 

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