The battle is on between the state’s emergency services to see who can save the most lives this winter.
Usually out protecting the community, the state’s frontline heroes are bringing the life saving indoors to local blood donor centre as part of the Emergency Services Challenge blood drive.
The challenge, which started on June 1 and runs until August 31, will help combat a traditional winter drop-off in donor numbers.
Blood service spokesperson Shae Smith said the challenge would be critical to helping the one-in-three Australians who will need blood this winter.
‘‘Our emergency service personnel are often busy saving lives outside of donor centres, but have still found the time to roll up their sleeves,’’ Mrs Smith said.
‘‘We’re hoping their leadership will inspire other Victorians to rise to the occasion and make an appointment to donate in June.’’
The challenge will see Victoria’s emergency services compete for the highest blood donation tally aiming to make more than 2500 donations, potentially saving 7500 lives.
Last year’s challenge saw the CFA take out the top spot with 744 donations.
CFA Shepparton regional operations officer Hayley Thomas rolled up her sleeve last week, saving three lives in the process.
‘‘It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t take a lot of time and it’s a great feeling knowing you’re saving lives,’’ Ms Thomas said.
‘‘The CFA is about protecting property and this is just another way we can serve and care for the community.’’
The Emergency Services Challenge is part of the Blood Services Red25 program.
Donate to save lives
Red25 is a unique movement in which groups and organisations across Australia unite to save lives through blood donation.
The program and its members work towards making sure 25 per cent of Australia’s blood donations are secure.
Blood service spokesperson Shae Smith said businesses, schools and community clubs could all get involved.
‘‘I offer presentations in your work place, school or club rooms,’’ Mrs Smith said.
‘‘I can also assist with a personalised blood drive to suit your group’s needs’’
Mrs Smith said small groups of five donors were best for the Shepparton donor centre and to allow about two and a half hours for the donation process.
‘‘This is a great chance to mingle and socialise with your mates,’’ she said.
To join the movement, groups need to nominate a Red25 coordinator to rally its people and register the group online.
Donors can join the group using their donor ID numbers, with each of their donations automatically counting towards the group’s tally.
For information or to book a Red25 presentation phone Shae Smith on 0417349179. Alternatively, to register a Red25 group go to www.donateblood.com.au/red25