St John WA team ready to roll up its sleeves for Emergency Services Blood Drive

Press Release

The 2024 Emergency Services Blood Drive kicks off on June 1 and St John WA is again hoping to “bleed” the way to the top.

Emergency services agencies from across WA battle it out each year to clock up as many donations as possible, with the SJWA team vying to hold on to the trophy for a seventh consecutive year.

Regular and frequent donors were joined by Chief Preventative Officer Megan O’Donnell and Chief Community Officer Darren Webb at a Lifeblood launch event at the Perth Donor Centre on Wednesday.

Representatives from SJWA’s key competitors, WA Police Force and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) were also in attendance.

SJWA Chief Preventative Officer Megan O’Donnell smiles through her first donation.

For Ms O’Donnell, the event was an opportunity to donate for the first time.

“I lived in the UK when I was a child, so have only recently been allowed to actually donate blood,” she said.

“I thought this was a good opportunity to start my donation journey, which will hopefully continue.” 

Mr Webb, a regular plasma donor, said he was keen to get involved in the challenge.

“I donate plasma because I hear it’s in desperate need, and I seem to have a lot of it, so I’m happy to share mine,” he said.

Paramedic Tia Milligan was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder during childhood which required multiple platelet transfusions.

Fully recovered, today Ms Milligan donates plasma when she can.

“I’m joining the drive for the second year in a row. I am super motivated to give blood to not only help the people that I see every day out on road, but also because of my own story,” she said.

“To be able to give back… and in turn educate people on its importance, is something that’s really important to me.”

The SJWA Lifeblood Team are hoping to hold onto the trophy for a seventh consecutive year.

The SJWA Lifeblood Team comprises nearly 500 members and has topped the drive tally in Western Australia every year since 2018.

In 2023, the team made 457 donations.

This year, the demand for blood and blood products is extremely high. In Australia, a blood donation is needed every 24 seconds.

Blood and plasma donations can help people getting through cancer or a difficult pregnancy, or those who have medical conditions and need blood products regularly to stay healthy.

Every donation can save up to three lives.

Visit the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website for more information on how to get involved.

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