Thursday, December 7, 2023

Mendocino, Lake, & Sonoma County Fire Departments Square Off in Annual Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge

The following is a press release issued by Vitalant Blood Donation:

Vitalant, in coordination with 21 fire departments across Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, is proud to announce the 15th Annual Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge. The Challenge is a friendly competition among participating fire departments to see which department can host the largest blood drive between December and January by enlisting firefighters, friends, family and members of the community to donate lifesaving blood.

Surges in COVID-19 cases, wildfires, hurricanes and other natural disasters combined with the cancellation of blood drives at schools, businesses and community organizations have brought the blood supply to a critical level on a national level. Donating blood is one of many ways community members can support one another. Per Governor Gavin Newsom, “Blood donation is critically important to ensure our hospitals have the supplies they need to give life-saving care to patients….Our state is at its best when we look out for one another. I encourage every eligible Californian to support their community by becoming a donor.”

Since 2006, fire departments participating in the Bucket Brigade Challenge have recruited more than 11,000 participants. Last year, Sonoma County Fire District won the coveted Bucket Trophy with 100 participants. Participating firefighters recognize the significance of their blood drives. Erich Engle of Sonoma County Fire District is a frequent blood donor and encourages community members to “make time this winter to support their local firefighters and donate blood.”

The Bucket Brigade idea comes from the Great London Fire of 1666 that found community members in “brigades” as they passed buckets of water from the city’s water supply to the blaze that endangered their town and community. Vitalant Senior Director of Donor Recruitment, Andrea Casson, brought these participating fire departments together 15 years ago with the idea of “creating a modern Bucket Brigade that gathers our community in an effort to save lives through blood donations.”

Multiple fire departments are hosting blood drives. As a special thank you, blood donors will receive an annual event T-shirt. To find a drive near you, please see the complete list below. To make an appointment, visit www.vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825. For your donation, please arrive well-hydrated, well-nourished, with a face mask and photo identification. For eligibility information and to learn more about how we are adjusting to the pandemic, visit www.vitalant.org.

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Mendo locations:

Ukiah Valley Fire Authority, Tuesday, December 1, 2020 1:30pm – 5:45pmCommunity Center: 200 School Street, Ukiah Fort Bragg and Mendocino Monday, December 28, 2020 1:00pm – 5:30pm, Volunteer Fire Department Tuesday, December 29, 2020 10:00am – 2:30pm, Town Hall: 363 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg Hopland Volunteer Fire Department Wednesday, January 13, 2021 2:00 pm – 6:00pm, Fire Station: 21 Feliz Creek Road, Hopland

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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