*Paid Business Feature*
First responders from the Kingston area, and across Eastern Ontario, are again participating in #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.
According to Debbi Barfoot, local Community Development Manager of Donor Relations & Collections for Canadian Blood Services, every year, close to 40 per cent of blood donors stop donating for 12 months or more for various reasons. This campaign serves as a reminder to all communities that the need for blood is constant — something that first responders are all too aware of.
This year, Canadian Blood Services needs over 100,000 new blood donors to come forward to meet patient needs. Throughout the pandemic, the number of people across Canada who donate regularly has decreased by 31,000, resulting in the smallest donor base in a decade.
“Last year, the Emergency Responder teams brought in 158 units through blood donations,” Barfoot shared. “This year, our goal is to collect 75 units in July and August to support summer collections and to build the number of individual team members.”
#SirensForLife Teams are being asked to support the campaign this year by getting a group of team members to donate as a group during the summer months, share information on social media, encourage potential donors to join their team, and make an appointment to donate blood in July and August. Groups are needed during the summer months — to set up your group date, contact Debbi Barfoot at Canadian Blood Services over email or at 613-530-2221 ext. 4813.
So far this year, there are 10 teams participating, Barfoot shared, noting that one in two people in Canada are eligible to donate blood, plasma, and platelets, but only one in 81 does. “A small group of regular donors is meeting the needs of the entire country, which is unsustainable,” she stated.
The #SirensForLife teams are:
- Kingston Fire and Rescue
- Loyalist Township Fire & Rescue
- Stone Mills Fire & Rescue
- Brockville Police Services
- Brockville Fire Department
- Ontario Provincial Police-Lennox and Addington
- Kingston Police
- Frontenac Paramedics
- Kingston Military Police
- Belleville Police Services
“Throughout COVID-19, donors like you have shown that patients can count on your support knowing that the need for blood donors never stops,” Barfoot expressed. “COVID-19 has brought out the best in those who were already committed to supporting the voluntary blood system in Canada, with 93 per cent of donors agreeing with adapted public health measures and accepting new routines.”
Virtually all donors (over 99 per cent) surveyed by Canadian Blood Services have expressed their confidence in their ability to protect the health and well-being of donors. For more information on their latest wellness measures, visit blood.ca/COVID19.
New and existing blood donors are encouraged to book donation appointments online at blood.ca, on the GiveBlood app, or by calling 1-888-2-DONATE. Donors are vital links in Canada’s Lifeline who improve the lives of patients every day.
Keep your eyes open for social shout-outs from local emergency responders and join the #SirensForLife summer campaign. Canadian Blood Services hopes to make this the best campaign yet.
This article is sponsored by the Canadian Blood Services. If you are interested in a Business Feature on Kingstonist, contact [email protected]