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Blood donations to the American Red Cross are a crucial aspect of hospitals being able to supply the life-saving blood a patient might need.

RFD hosts blood drive Friday

At some point in their lives, the majority of people will end up needing a blood transfusion, but only 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood, according to the American Red Cross website.

Following the Fourth of July weekend, the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for all blood types to donate to help.

The American Red Cross helped organize 43 blood drives across north Alabama from July 9 to Aug. 10. Franklin County residents will have their opportunity to donate blood through the American Red Cross Friday from 1-6 p.m. at the Russellville Fire Department, 1100 S. Jackson Ave.

“I’ve seen a lot of cases with wrecks and stuff where people have lost a lot of blood, and when they get to the hospital, they’ve got to have blood,” said Russellville Fire Chief Joe Mansell. “If people stop giving, then you’re going to have a lot more fatalities.”

All blood types are encouraged to donate. 

At registration, donors will need to show two forms of identification. Donors will also take a short health screening before giving blood to ensure they are in good condition to donate.

Some things can make a person ineligible to donate, such as travel outside of the country, certain medications and health conditions like low iron levels.

Mansell said the fire department usually sees a large number of donors come out to support the blood drive.

“That’s one good thing about living in Franklin County is that the people of Franklin County, if it’s put out there that there’s a need for it, they’re going to come and try to do what they can for anybody that’s in need,” Mansell said.

Mansell said this is the first blood drive the fire department has hosted this year, but they usually host three or four each year.

He said the American Red Cross reached out to the fire department about partnering for a blood drive, and Mansell said he was happy to host.

“At the fire services, we are always trying to help the community and do whatever we can, so this was a good way to give back,” he said.

Regular blood donor fire marshal Justin Green said he has been donating blood since he was 18. Green said donating blood is important because that is how most people in need of blood receive it.

“Come out and save a life,” Green said.