"The challenge has been thrown down."
That's the message Acting Superintendent Paul Stephens has for emergency services across Dubbo and the region.
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood is encouraging all emergency services across Australia to roll up their sleeves and donate as part of the annual Emergency Services Blood Challenge.
The challenge started on June 1 and will finish at the end of winter on August 31. All emergency services from across the country will be competing in five categories: most donations, most new donors, most plasma donations and highest year-on-year growth.
Acting Superintendent Stephens said thanks to "one very proactive officer" in Dubbo, they usually managed to reach 700 donations. Across the state, he said he would like to see the number of donations by the police into the thousands.
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"I'd like to think that with the experience we all have as first responders we can see why the donations can be vital," Acting Superintendent Stephens said.
During winter, the demand for blood increases by four per cent. However, according to Lifeblood, one in three donors cancel their appointments, causing a seasonal challenge.
Acting Superintendent Stephens, who started donating blood when he was working with the police down south, admitted he wasn't as giving as he should be at times. But like others, he hoped the challenge would encourage him to donate more.
"We've won it in the past and it's certainly our intention to do it again," he said.
In Australia a blood donation is needed every 24 seconds. It equates to about 1000 donations a week that are needed to assist with accidents and emergencies.
Traffic and Highway Patrol commander Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb said the police were proud to be part of the initiative, and the participants hoped to save as many lives as possible.
"Not all heroes wear capes - or even uniforms - anyone can roll up their sleeves and donate lifesaving blood or plasma," she said.
"With more patients than ever needing blood and donations, this blood drive is critical in ensuring blood stocks over the winter months."
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