Members of No. 92 Wing at RAAF Base Edinburgh got on board the 2020 Defence Blood Challenge, holding the Wing’s first donation day on October 2.
An Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Mobile Donor Centre visited the new No. 92 Wing complex, parking on the recently completed aircraft hardstand to provide easy access to personnel.
Local Red Cross coordinator and regular blood donor, Sergeant Darrell Greig, of No. 11 Squadron, organised the initiative in support of the blood challenge, which began on September 1.
“Our Warrant Officer Engineering at 11 Squadron, Warrant Officer Martin Miller, came up with the idea to position the donor mobile unit on the aircraft hardstand to promote the Defence Blood Challenge, and we worked out a plan from there,” Sergeant Greig said.
“It provided a unique opportunity and backdrop for donors and Red Cross staff.
“We got some new donors and previous donors who hadn’t donated for a while to roll up their sleeves, so it was a great result.
“This was the first official No. 92 Wing-only event, and we look forward to holding another one in the future.”
Engineering officer Squadron Leader Gussan Dahini and maritime patrol and response officer student Pilot Officer Elise Champion were among the first-time donors.
Squadron Leader Dahini said the discomfort associated with needles had always been a deterrent to giving blood, but a recent family situation provided an incentive to donate.
“My niece was born recently and needed a blood transfusion to stay alive as she was born 11 weeks premature with a hole in her heart,” Squadron Leader Dahini said.
“My niece’s situation made me realise donating blood is something each of us can do, and it can make a huge difference to the life and wellbeing of the people we care about.
“I think the Defence Blood Challenge is a wonderful initiative to encourage those of us who would not normally donate to give blood.”
Pilot Officer Champion, who is currently completing P-8A Poseidon operational conversion training at No. 292 Squadron, agreed.
“I had never really thought a lot about donating blood before and didn’t know much about the Defence Blood Challenge, but it was an easy way for me to get involved and I’m really glad I did,” she said.
“It’s a great cause and I will definitely support it again next year when I’m posted to No. 11 Squadron.”
The 2020 Defence Blood Challenge finishes on December 8.
To book an appointment to donate blood or plasma, call Australian Red Cross Lifeblood on 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood.com.au.