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IFD has blood drive

Department has event to give back to community

On Friday morning, the Ironton Fire Department was out for blood.

The firefighters weren’t actually mad at anybody or looking for a fight, rather they were holding one of their semi-annual blood drives.

“Right now, the Red Cross has a critical shortage,” said IFD Lt. Joe Marshall, who was overseeing the event. “And it helps the community when people donate blood.”

In January, the Red Cross reported that nationwide, those of donations went uncollected because of severe winter weather meant blood drives were cancelled.

“The weather and storms have been a big factor,” Marshall said.

He said the goal was to get 15-20 donations. In the first hour, they had four donations.

One of the donors was Juanita Strugill, of Jackson. She was in Ironton visiting her son and grandchildren and saw there was a blood drive and decided to donate.

It’s something she has done on a regular basis since high school. Her current donations to date totaled more than seven gallons.

“I donate every two months,” she said. “I donate because each one saves three people.”

Her advice for dealing with the discomfort of donating was simple.

“Just don’t look at the needle,” Sturgill said.

The Ironton Fire Departments next blood drive will be in July.

The Red Cross has said that eligible donors, especially platelet donors and blood donors with type O blood, are urgently needed to help restock the shelves for hospital patients. Donation appointments can be easily scheduled by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).