MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — First responders from around the state are doing what they do best amid the growing positive cases of coronavirus. On Tuesday, they are helping the American Red Cross with an emergency blood drive.
First responders always want to help in a crisis. One part of the current crisis is that there are not enough people giving blood. That’s mostly because the schools, businesses and churches that host blood drives are all closed.
“We are working with local officials, trying to get in some of the schools that are closed, and we’re really trying to stay on top of that and get the information out to the public because we do not want to reach an extreme blood shortage.”Kimberly Moreland, American Red Cross District Manager
That’s why the State Police stepped up, hosting its own blood drive at the police academy in Meriden. Nobody’s using the gym there anyway because all of the recruits were sent home. The troopers invited all kinds of first responders to help out.
“There was definitely a lot of interest. I can guarantee that you’ll probably see a ton of first responders – police, fire, EMS, walking in to donate blood,” Tpr. Josue Dorelus, CT State Police.
That includes health care workers like Tracey Gilhuly. Her office is mostly doing tele-medicine with people stuck at home right now.
“A lot of people say, ‘What can I do, what can I do? I feel useless, I can’t volunteer, I’m stuck inside’ Come out and give blood. That the best thing you could do in times like this,” says Tracey Gilhuly, Nurse Practitioner.
The Red Cross is taking extra precautions because of the coronavirus. Everybody in this room had to get their temperature taken first.
“We have all of our chairs six feet apart. All of our beds are six feet apart. We’re really trying to follow all of those guidelines to be as safe as possible for our staff and our donors.” Moreland adds.
While there are a lot fewer blood drives happening now, they are still happening. While Tuesday’s drive is just for first responders, the Red Cross still needs other volunteers to give blood as well. They are still doing some drives, and they could really use your help. You can go to RedCrossBlood.org to find out more and make an appointment.