Emergency service workers come together to give blood as the Sirens for Life 2020 challenge kicks off in Halifa

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Emergency service workers come together to give blood as the Sirens for Life 2020 challenge kicks off in Halifax

Emergency service workers in Halifax Regional Municipality are continuing to answer the call to help save more lives as part of this year’s Sirens for Life campaign.

The friendly challenge between Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency, Halifax Regional Police, RCMP, and EHS runs for a set period of time and the life-savers with the most collected donations wins the Sirens for Life trophy.

Canadian Blood Services is asking residents to join Canada’s Lifeline by donating blood in support of their local emergency services teams.

Emergency service workers often see the need for blood firsthand. Just one person who is seriously injured in a car crash could need as many as 50 blood donations to help save their life.

The main types of blood donation include:

* whole blood donation – a standard donation, consisting of plasma, red and white blood cells, platelets, antibodies and other components

* plasma donation – also known as apheresis. Plasma is separated from the other components by a special machine, and the red blood cells are returned to the donor in cycles throughout the donation

* platelet donation – known as plateletpheresis. This is done in a similar way to plasma donation, but both the red cells and plasma are returned to the donor.

The COVID-19 pandemic will weigh heavily on donors’ thoughts and behaviours this year, but the need for blood remains the same. Donor centres remain open to allow Canadian Blood Services to continue to provide essential products and services for patients throughout the pandemic and leaving home to give blood is allowed even during lockdown.

Donor centres will be open on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, in addition to regularly scheduled operating hours. A reminder– to maximize physical distancing measures at collection events, appointments are required to donate.

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