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Fairchild Airmen pushes for base blood drive

Curtsey Photo.

Curtsey Photo.

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. – In anticipation of holiday demand, the Inland Northwest Blood Center is scheduled to host a base-wide blood drive from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 16, at the base chapel here.

The blood drive brainchild is Senior Airman Daniel Valeri, 92nd Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment journeyman, whose life was saved by a blood transfusion at a young age.

“I was involved in a tractor accident when I was 18 months old and my life was saved by the generosity of blood donors,” Valeri said. “Nowadays, I look forward to the opportunity to give blood and help save someone else’s life.”

The INBC is a longtime community partner of Fairchild, currently sending a mobile blood donation bus to the base once a month for walk-in donations, but concerted efforts to obtain donations are rare, said Robert Balison, Inland Northwest Blood Center manager.

“Blood has a shelf life of only 42 days and we try to get in 200 units of blood every day to maintain optimum supply, yet holidays are really tough for us,” Balison said. “People get busy or sick this time of year and we see significantly fewer donations, so it’s wonderful some Fairchild Airmen are making a push for donations to bolster supplies.”

Base walk-in donations this year have only gathered 134 units as of Oct. 1st, said 1st Lt. Ryan Comes, 92nd Medical Group diagnostics flight commander. This blood drive has a goal of 50 or more units to bolster low holiday blood supplies.

“Blood donation centers don’t only use blood locally, they send out units to where it’s needed in times of emergency,” Comes said. “As there is always a demand for blood, it’s vital people realize the importance of taking a few minutes out of their day to help save a life.”

Some travel and deployment restrictions are in place for military service members and other limiting factors may apply. To find out if any donation restrictions apply to you, contact the INBC at (800) 423-0151 or check the Armed Services Blood Program website at: www.militaryblood.dod.mil/donate/can_i_donate.aspx.

The blood drive staff recommends that donors eat a good meal and ensure they are hydrated before giving blood.

For more information or to make a reservation to donate blood, contact Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey at (509) 247-8346, or go online at: https://www.myinbc.org/index.cfm?group=op&expand=690929&zc=99011