An Emerald SES volunteer has committed to sacrificing his beloved beard to encourage others to donate blood as part of the 2020 Emergency Services Blood Challenge.
Emerald SES volunteer of six years, Phillip Pascall, has been donating blood, platelets and plasma to Australia Red Cross Lifeblood since he was just 16-years-old.
With the Emergency Services Blood Challenge two thirds of the way through and SES members well on their way to eclipsing last year’s total, Mr Pascall decided he would do his best to get other members on board the donation train.
“I’m trying to get as many people as I can on board – the more the better,” he said.
“People may not be aware that they can still donate blood through the coronavirus pandemic. Even though we’re going through restrictions, these sort of things still go on.
“Emergency services like the SES are still operating and blood is still vital.”
In order to raise awareness and encourage more donors, Mr Pascall will be shaving the beard he’s had and loved for many years.
“I’m going to shave my beard off when I get that next donation,” he explained.
“With one month of the challenge left to go, I’m confident numbers can grow even higher.”
To date, 147 individual SES volunteers have made 251 donations, an increase of 48 percent from the same time in last year.
Three lives can be saved by just one blood donation, meaning SES members may have helped up to 753 people who have had medical complications, cancer treatment, road trauma injuries and more.
Emergency service workers and volunteers who want to take part should join a Lifeblood Team, and call 13 14 95 or go online to make a blood donation appointment before 31 August.
Australia Red Cross Lifeblood centres are an essential service and will remain open during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Donating blood and plasma remains an essential activity to keep blood flowing to patients across the country, and travel and venue restrictions do not prevent you from giving blood – we need you now more than ever,” Lifeblood chief executive Shelly Park said.
“Coronavirus does not stop the need for blood and plasma – it is a critical resource and demand for blood is constant and will continue to be. As healthcare settings, our blood donor centres are open and our teams are ready to welcome donors who are healthy and well.
“Even though this situation continues to change rapidly, there are still patients in hospital who need blood and are relying on people to continue making these generous donations.”
Donors are reminded that Lifeblood facilities across the state are strictly regulated, and always comply with the highest safety and hygiene standards, including extensive cleaning.