In recognition of National Blood Donor Month, which occurs every January, volunteer fire departments throughout Fairfax County will partner with Inova Blood Donor Services to host blood drives this month.
While the need for blood donations is constant, it has become especially urgent in recent months after the COVID-19 pandemic made volunteers wary and prompted many blood drive cancellations last year.
“Due to current events, blood supplies in Fairfax County and the nation are at dangerously low levels and dropping,” the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said in a press release.
Inova Blood Donor Services says it must collect 200 units of blood per day in order to adequately support the community. The supply also needs to be continually renewed, because donated blood has a limited shelf life of 42 days.
Inova’s red blood cell inventory indicates that, as of Jan. 4, it is low on supplies for all blood types except for A negative.
The organization has implemented a number of precautionary measures to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 at blood donation events, including requiring staff to wear masks and suspending walk-ins to ensure social distancing can be maintained.
Here is the schedule for this month’s Fairfax County volunteer fire department blood drives:
- Jan. 13, 1-7 p.m. — Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Fairfax County Fire Station 14. 9501 Old Burke Lake Rd., Burke, VA 22015. NOTE: One appointment left.
- Jan. 19, 1-7 p.m. — McLean Volunteer Fire Department, Fairfax County Fire Station 1. 1455 Laughlin Ave McLean, VA 22101.
- Jan. 25, 12:30-6:30 p.m. — Greater Springfield Volunteer Fire Department, Fairfax County Fire Station 22. 7011 Backlick Rd., Springfield, VA 22150.
- Jan. 30, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. — Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, Fairfax County Fire Station 2. 400 Center Street South Vienna, VA 22180.
The drives will all take place in the individual station parking lots. Access to the fire stations will be prohibited “to help protect our firefighters and paramedics,” FCFRD says.
People interested in signing up to donate at any of the drives can register through the Inova Blood Donor Services website.