Health & Safety

February 27, 2014

Giving blood on the flightline

Airman 1st Class B. Chevalier
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)
Senior Airman William Ballard, 358th Aircraft Maintenance Unit aircraft electrical and enviromental technician, donates blood to the American Red Cross Feb. 14. During the donation, one pint of blood is collected which could save up to three lives.

According to the American Red Cross website, more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

The 355th Maintenance Group had the chance to help fill these donation needs while working on the flightline, Feb. 14.

Master Sgt. Wayne Gibbs, 355th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft section chief, and Senior Master Sgt. Jackie Pryor-Walters, 355th Dental Squadron superintendent, worked with the American Red Cross to set up the opportunity for maintainers to give blood on the flightline, without having to take unnecessary time out of their day.

“I wanted to reach those individuals that want to give, but are unable to leave their duty section for an extended period of time to donate at the Fighter Wing blood drives,” Pryor-Walters said.

The 355th Fighter Wing and the Medical Group alternate months hosting the ARC, which gives military members the chance to donate blood without having to travel far and take more time out of their day.

“It means less time away from the work center,” Pryor-Walters said. “I feel as though leadership is more receptive to the idea knowing that a member can volunteer to give with little to no impact to the mission.”

Thirty-five maintainers were able to give blood during the drive. This exceeded the group’s goal of 20 donors.

Many Airmen who gave blood had donated before.

“I started donating blood when I was in high school,” said Senior Airman William Ballard, 358th Aircraft Maintenance Unit aircraft electrician. “I do it because it only takes about 30 minutes and I know I am helping save a life.”

During the donation, one pint of blood is collected, which can save up to three lives, according to the American Red Cross website. Blood donations are kept on-hand in case of an emergency when someone may need blood.

The next base-wide blood drive will be held at the Medical Group Feb. 27. For more information on the base’s blood drives, contact Pryor-Walters 228-2603 or jackie.pryor_walters@us.af.mil. For more information on the American Red Cross and eligibility, visit www.redcrossblood.org.




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