VICSES and the Red Cross: saving lives together
Billy the Blood Drop visits the Nillumbik SES Unit with recent recruit Renee Hardwick pictured standing next to Billy
Cold and flu symptoms are wiping out as many as 900 blood donors a week, prompting the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to issue a call for new donors across the winter months.
And Australia's emergency service workers have been first to respond as part of the annual Emergency Services Challenge.
Around Victoria, VICSES volunteers have joined police, ambulance and fire fighters to see who can give the most blood, all the while helping to counter a serious seasonal drop off in donor numbers.
With less than four weeks to go in the Australian Red Cross Emergency Services Challenge, VICSES volunteers have already donated enough blood to save over 340 lives.
And it's not just as donors that VICSES volunteers are playing a key role. When Southbank Blood Donor Centre Manager Renee Hardwick isn't helping the Red Cross, she's helping her local community by donning the iconic orange uniform as a VICSES volunteer.
Stationed at the Nillumbik Unit, Ms Hardwick said it was a fantastic opportunity for her to become more involved in the local community.
“I signed up in February 2015 to fulfil a desire to become more involved with the local community and learn some new skills taught by the SES,” Ms Hardwick said.
“As a registered nurse I thought my skills could also be of benefit so it was an easy decision to join.”
With a foot in both life-saving camps Renee has asked her unit members and the wider VICSES community to donate blood as a part of the 2015 Victorian Emergency Services Challenge.
The challenge involves all arms of the Emergency Services to see who can donate the most blood from June 1 to August 31.
During the 2014 Emergency Services challenge Victoria SES made 66 donations to the Blood Service.
While only two thirds of the way through the 2015 challenge, the Victoria SES have already registered 114 donations.
With four weeks remaining in the challenge the Blood Service is hoping to see this number continue to grow and help Victoria reach its state wide target of 1200 donations from all Emergency Services divisions.
To book an appointment to donate please call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au. Don’t forget to make your donation help VICSES take out the Emergency Services Challenge - just ask for your donation to be added to the VICSES tally at any Blood Service collection venue across the state.