The Red Cross is bracing for a blood shortage because of the severe weather across the country. Blood drives are expected to be cancelled in the snow-ridden areas, and that means low donor turnout. Now the Red Cross is turning to states like California and urging them to help.
A group of people in our area decided to step up, because they see the need for blood on a daily basis.
"Blood is kind of like a motor oil. The motor doesn't run without oil, and the body doesn't work without blood: It's the lifesaving liquid we need," says Chris Knapp, a firefighter with Salinas Fire Department for six years.
Knapp donates blood every chance he gets, because his profession shows him every day why it's so important.
"We see a lot of traumatic injuries that once they make it to the hospital a blood transfusion is needed," said Knapp.
The Salinas fire and police department are hosting the second annual Battle of the Badges, because blood is desperately needed after the holidays as statistics show a rise in traumatic accidents.
"There is an urgent need right now. You need to remember that three people benefit from your single donation of blood. As the holidays just passed there is an increased need because of more accidents and traumatic injuries, and because there is less people donating, because we all forget or don't have time," Cpt. Bruce Bush of the Salinas Fire Department.
According to the Red Cross, 41,000 blood donations are needed every day, so a lack of donations at this crucial time during the year is a concern, but firefighters like Knapp and Bush are donating and encouraging others to give as well.
"It's an easy way to have a positive affect on someone's life," says Knapp.
You can donate to the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive on Wednesday and Thursday at the Northridge Mall Community Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.