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First responders across Halifax donate blood to kick-off Sirens for Life 2024 Challenge

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First responders came together in Halifax today to donate blood to kick-off the Sirens for Life 2024 Challenge.

The Sirens for Life Challenge tracks blood donations now until the Labour Day weekend, and gives people a reminder that blood donations are always needed.

“We’re really lucky to have the first responders help us and come step up, go above and beyond to help,” said Krysta Hanakowski with the Canadian Blood Services.

“Our regular donors, you know they’re on vacation, it’s a nice sunny day so people are out doing other things so blood donation’s not on the top of people’s minds so this is just one of those things that can remind people the need for blood doesn’t stop.”

While emergency service members kicked-off the challenge, Hanakowski says anyone can participate.

“It’s not just the first responders, anybody in the general public can join their team as well and if they join the team and come out and donate then it will be one more unit counted towards them, and then by the end of the summer we will crown the champion,” she said.

First responders pose for a photo after donating blood as part of the Sirens for Life 2024 Challenge. (CTV/Mike Lamb)Many of the first responders on scene said they were happy to participate in the challenge as they have seen the benefits of donating blood first-hand.

“It’s important to donate blood because over the course of my career I’ve been able to see first-hand the positive experiences that come afterwards, you know people that are on transferors with blood running, all of the positive affects that we have when we are able to donate it for the people that do need it which I believe in Canada is almost once every minute people require blood,” said EHS supervisor, Chelsea Cunningham.

“Everyday our officers respond to calls where people are involved in tragic incidents and we’ve seen first-hand the need for blood and the demand for blood, and it’s important for us to be a part of that community as well to help save lives,” said Deepak Prasad with the RCMP, who won the trophy for the competition last year.

Deepak Prasad with the RCMP holds up the trophy they won in the challenge last year. (CTV/Mike Lamb)“We had it last year and we’re hoping to win it again this year,” he adds.

Hanakowski says there’s still around 2,500 appointments that need filling until the end of July.

With files from CTV's Mike Lamb.

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