Lifesaving Challenge Accepted
Toronto Police, with a record 90 donations, regained the title it lost to Toronto Fire in this year’s Canadian Blood Services (CBS) Sirens for Life Challenge.
It was the largest donation in the 13-year history of the competition that spans the summer months when donations are typically lowest.
CBS presented a plaque to the Service to recognize the achievement that will be hung at police headquarters.
Chief James Ramer joined Inspector Dave Ecklund, Constable Peter De Quintal and CBS Regional Program Manager Kristie Upton at the ceremony.
The Chief is proud of the Service’s accomplishment.
“It demonstrates commitment to community and service which we are all about,” Ramer said. “We represent a symbol of safety and I think it is important that our officers get in this type of community effort. We work closely with hospitals and we see the need for blood. I think that is evident in why we get such a good response.”
Since being diagnosed with aplastic anemia and obtaining a bone marrow at age 12 from younger brother Mike that saved his life, Ecklund has been an active Canadian Blood Services (CBS) supporter.
“We did extremely well this year to regain the Sirens for Life crown and hopefully we can keep the momentum up going into the holiday season when there is an increased demand for blood products with people travelling and surgeries coming back,” said Ecklund.
Since 2008, Service members have been rolling up their sleeves during the summer to make blood donations as part of the CBS Sirens for Life Challenge.
Sirens for Life is an annual competition among Toronto Police, Toronto Fire and Toronto Paramedic Services to determine which organization can give the most blood donations over the summer.
The program helps to sustain blood donations during the summer months when donations are typically lower as regular donors are often on vacation
Each year, TPS members donate approximately 300 units of blood.
Upton said Toronto Police has been one of CBS’s strongest partners.
“They are reliable not just through Sirens for Life, but all year round to bring in donors which is something we really appreciate,” she noted. “The need for blood is constant. It does have a shelf life of 42 days. Males can donate every 56 days and women every 84 days. Even with that, regular donors can’t keep up with the supply and demand for hospitals. Especially right now where procedures are ramping up for hospitals, we need to see all of our appointments filled so we can meet patients’ needs.
DeQuintal has been a donor for the last 15 years and spearheaded many community-police donations.