Lincolnshire’s fire stations to host blood donation sessions

Coun Nick Worth at a trial blood donation session at Boston Fire Station.
Coun Nick Worth at a trial blood donation session at Boston Fire Station.

A trial programme, which started this week, sees the National Health Service Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) stage a number of donation sessions at Fire and Rescue venues including Louth, Skegness and Boston.

The plans are expected to save the NHSBT thousands of pounds in venue hire charges, and will also allow the service to deliver vital fire safety messages to the public.

The NHSBT plans to use the fire station at Louth - in addition to those in Boston, Skegness, Grantham and Spalding - for three blood donor sessions this year as part of a pilot programme to gauge whether the idea should be used on a wider scale.

It is also being seen as an opportunity to highlight the benefits of joining the service in a recruitment drive.

Divisional Commander Dave Gilbert said: “This is something that has been trialled successfully elsewhere in the country.

“The fire stations which will be used in this pilot programme are well placed in the community and will be ideal for NHSBT to carry out their blood donation services.

“We will be offering these stations free of charge which means they will save money.

“At the same time it gives our officers and advocates an opportunity to continue to deliver our fire safety messages.

“We can also use the sessions to put the message out there that we are looking for part time firefighters and would love to hear from people who are interested in doing this rewarding job.

“It is vital that we continue to enlist and train these people. Their efforts and skills are so valuable to Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.”

Executive member for fire and rescue at Lincolnshire County Council, Coun Nick Worth, was among the first to use the trial service in Boston.

He said: “I think this is a very positive move for both parties. As a Lincolnshire County Council service, we are well placed in the community to offer these venues to help encourage blood donation.

“Let’s face it - blood donors save lives. If our officers can then spread the word around fire safety and also put out some feelers with regard to recruitment to the fire service then everyone is a winner.

“I would urge anyone who has ever thought about giving blood to come forward to these local venues and help save lives in Lincolnshire.”

• Contact 03001232323 or www.nhsbt.nhs.uk to find out when the service is near you.