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First Responders support donating blood during #SirensForLife annual campaign

Images of #SirensForLife teams at events in years past (pre-pandemic). Image via Canadian Blood Services.

With the return of summer comes the return of #SirensForLife. This annual campaign, run by Canadian Blood Services, engages first responders, aims to support the recruitment of new donors, and encourages longtime blood donors to make their next appointment.

Throughout the summer months, first responders across Canada will be challenging each other to participate in blood donating, and recruiting team members from the community to help them reach their goals. Locally, Kingston Fire & Rescue, Stone Mills Fire Department, Kingston Police Services, and Loyalist Township Emergency Services will all be participating in this year’s campaign.

“The biggest winners of a challenge like this are the patients across Canada who rely on a steady supply of blood for treatment where and when they need it most,” said Debbi Barfoot, Territory Manager, Canadian Blood Services. “Donating blood is one of the most direct ways you can help someone in need.”

Before the pandemic, Barfoot said that each EMS team would participate in the campaign launch day at the Kingston Blood Donation Centre on Gardiners Road. To kick off the #SirensForLife campaign, each team brought a group to donate, and arrived in their emergency vehicle to get together for the annual photo. The sense of helping the community at the event was palpable.

Due to COVID-19, the campaign will look a little different this year. The Sirens for Life summer campaign will be virtual, and more digitally focused. Teams will ask individual members to make their own appointments to donate blood over the summer months, share videos on social media, recruit new donors, build their team membership, post weekly on social media, and challenge other EMS teams to recruit new blood donors.

Canadian Blood Services is grateful for the courage and dedication of all first responders who bring critical work and care in the Kingston community. “First responders know the risks and continue working on the front lines in challenging and unpredictable situations, and these unprecedented times,” Barfoot continued.

“Many Canadians already look to you as heroes. Your support for #SirensForLife goes above and beyond your commitment and civic duty. On behalf of patients across Canada, thank you!”

During COVID-19, and heading into the summer months, the need for blood continues. Donated blood lasts no longer than 42 days, and platelets have a shelf life of only seven days. Donating blood can help give one a sense of control during the pandemic, and can help address feelings of helplessness many may have in the face of COVID-19. Help patients in Canada who continue to need blood for cancer treatments, trauma and surgeries by making an appointment to donate blood over the summer months.

The Kingston Blood Donation Centre remains open during COVID-19. They ask all eligible donors to book their appointment at blood.ca, on the GiveBlood app, or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE. In addition to routine cleaning, infection-control, and screening practices, Canadian Blood Services have introduced enhanced cleaning measures, wellness stations, and physical distancing measures to better protect anyone who comes through their doors. To learn more, review the COVID-19 protocols on the Blood Services website, then book your appointment

Keep your eyes open for social shout-outs from our local emergency responders and join the #SirensForLife summer campaign. Canadian Blood Services hopes to make this the best virtual campaign yet.

This article is sponsored by Canadian Blood Services. If you are interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist, contact [email protected]

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