Police roll up their sleeves for three month Bleed4Blue blood drive

Assistant Commissioner Steve Hegarty and Senior Constable L Lindsay participated in the drive. Photo: NSW Police.

 

THE NSW Police Force are rolling up their sleeves for 2021’s ‘Bleed4Blue’ blood drive.

‘Bleed4Blue’ is an annual, three-month law enforcement-focused blood drive that was launched in 2018 following the stabbing of Detective Sergeant John Breda at Maroubra on Australia Day 2018.

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Now in its fourth year, NSWPF has launched Operation ‘Bleed4Blue’ with employees, family, friends and the community encouraged to visit a Lifeblood donor centre across the state to donate life-saving blood products.

In addition to the summer drive, NSWPF will be attempting to break the record for the number of donations in a single day.

The highest donation total recorded by a Lifeblood Team in a single day in Australia is 230 successful donations.

Lifeblood Centres have thrown their support behind the challenge, turning their centres blue, wearing blue clothes, and even serving blue refreshments to donors.

Saving lives is part of the job for officers, explains Assistant Commissioner Steve Hegarty who helped launch today’s challenge and is urging police to take part.

“We take our police operations very seriously, and this blood drive is no different,” said Assistant Commissioner Hegarty.

“As first responders, police know all too well how important blood donations are for people who have been injured as a result of crime, crashes or accidents.

“If we can come together to donate life-saving blood products, we can help to save many more lives.”

The Bleed4Blue drive is run in partnership with Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and was established after Det Sgt John Breda lost almost twelve litres of blood when he was stabbed during a police operation.

The medical team used more than 100 bags of blood to keep him alive, including 48 bags in one six-hour surgery.

Each week, Lifeblood requires 31,000 donations to meet demand which is at a ten-year-high.

Hospitals are reporting increased presentations in emergency, obstetrics, and surgery.

December is a busy time and elective surgeries are being rescheduled post-lockdown, so blood drives provide life-saving donations.

“The need for blood never takes a break and donated blood will be needed every day between now and New Year’s Eve to help treat many sick and seriously ill Australians,” said Carley Byrnes, Lifeblood.

“With hospital demand for blood the highest it’s been in nearly a decade, December is the time for all of us to do what police do so well – roll up our sleeves and lend an arm when it’s most needed.”

During the 2020 campaign, a total of 4,419 donations were made across the country, with the NSW Police Force making 1,126 donations, helping to save up to 3,378 lives.

The ‘Bleed4Blue’ campaign will run from Wednesday 1 December until the end of February 2022 and challenges police from across Australia to take part to see which state or territory can donate the most blood.

Since its inception, the Bleed4Blue campaign has generated more than 15,093 blood donations and helped save over 45,000 lives.

 

By Tara CAMPBELL

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