Sign up to be a 'First Blood Responder' for the new year

Sign up to be a 'First Blood Responder' for the new year

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Just as first responders need to be ready for disasters and emergencies, United Blood Service's blood supply must also be at the ready for when patients need it most.

United Blood Services is asking people to pledge to be a First Blood Responder and donate three times in 2018, starting in January. Those who sign up will help ensure blood is already at the hospital and ready to go before emergencies happen. United Blood Services hopes that having these First Blood Responders sign up will ensure a stable supply of blood throughout the year.

"The 2017 year brought unfortunate situation, from hurricanes and wildfires to active shooters. Through these situations, one thing remains the same: it's blood on the shelf that is donated before the tragedy that saves lives. We don't know when or where the next emergency situation will arise. Your pledge to be a First Blood Responder will help ensure that blood is on the shelf before the tragedy. The need is greatest between times of great need," said Mitzi Breaux, marketing and communications manager for United Blood Services.

Donors can sign up to be a First Blood Responder online here. All those who donate in January will receive a Power to Change the World t-shirt while supplies last.

All blood types are always needed, however, O negative blood is always in high demand since it's the "universal donor."

Blood donations can be made at the Baton Rouge donor center, located at 8234 One Calais, the service road at I-10 and Essen Lane. Donors can schedule an appointment online here, or by calling 877-827-4376. Walk-ins are also welcome.

For more information about donating blood, click here.

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