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June 23, 2008
Media Advisory - Emergency services pledge gifts of a lifetime at Sirens for Life launch Annual Police, Fire, Ornge and EMS blood challenge is a lifesaver
Toronto Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Police, along with Ornge, are proud to help launch Canadian Blood Services’ Sirens for Life blood donor challenge on June 25.

As parents and police officers, Detective Constable Andy May and Detective Leah Gilfoy know the need for blood. Their five-year-old daughter Karlee is a recipient and will be at the launch in appreciation of her gift of a lifetime. As part of Canadian Blood Services’ annual summer blood drive and the Partners for Life program, the goal of this challenge is to collect 2000 donations of whole blood from July 1 to September 1.

“Canadian Blood Services is pleased that local fire, police, Ornge and Emergency Medical Services employees are going head-to-head to donate blood for their community,” said Sue Blasutti, Regional Director of Donor and Clinic Services for Canadian Blood Services Central Ontario Region. “Being on the front line, and seeing daily tragedies that necessitate the need for blood, they have an acute understanding of the importance of donation to the lives of those in need.”

Summer blood levels can be lower than normal and patients treated for such things as cancer, surgery, and trauma depend on a stable supply of blood year-round, which is why these emergency organizations know they have the power to save lives during this friendly but lifesaving summer campaign.

Who: William Blair, Toronto Police Chief; David Sheen, Toronto Fire Division Chief; Bruce Farr, Toronto EMS Chief; Tom Lepine, Ornge Chief Operating Officer; the May-Gilfoy family, Firefighter and milestone donor, Al Watterson, uniformed members of emergency services and representatives of Canadian Blood Services, including Sue Blasutti, Central Ontario Region Director of Donor & Clinic Services.

What: Sirens for Life kick-off event: Emergency services, May-Gilfoy family, Al Watterson and Canadian Blood Services will be on hand for interviews as members of the uniformed services donate blood.

Where: Toronto Fire and EMS Headquarters, 4330 Dufferin St.

When: Wednesday, June 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Note: Interviews and photo opportunities with Emergency Services Chiefs, the May-Gilfoy family, Firefighter Al Watterson, uniformed donors and Sue Blasutti at 10:30 a.m. Members of the services will be donating at the onsite clinic during the interviews.

Media contacts:
John Bromley, Canadian Blood Services, 416-313-4438, 416-573-2172 (cell)
Lyla Miller, Toronto EMS, 416-392-2255, 416-708-8125 (cell)
Dave Eckerman, Toronto Fire Services, 416-338-9317



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