Police and firefighters must often deal with the aftermath of
accidents and bloodshed - so Rutland's police and fire chiefs are
challenging others to help address the resulting need by
participating in the 2012 Gift-of-Life Marathon Blood Drive.
"Sadly, we deal with life's emergencies every day, and we
understand the importance of a safe and stable blood supply,"
Police Chief James Baker said. "Through the Gift-of-Life Marathon,
we want to help ensure that supply is there through the upcoming
holidays, and help Rutland get into the national record books in
On Monday, Nov. 12, Baker and Fire Chief Robert Schlachter
issued a challenge to their departments and all emergency and
public safety personnel in Rutland County: sign up for the Dec. 18
blood drive, and serve as an example for the community at
"Few people, other than doctors and nurses, are more aware of the
importance of blood donations than police officers and
firefighters," Schlachter said. "So it's natural for us to donate
blood and help spread the word about blood donations."
"Local police officers and firefighters are heroes in our
society, but almost anyone can be a hero by following their lead
and donating blood," said Steve Costello, vice president for
generation and energy innovation at Green Mountain Power, one of
the organizers. "Most of us will probably never have the
opportunity to save a life like a firefighter or policeman, but by
donating blood, we can have the same kind of life-changing
Schlachter and Baker said they would encourage all eligible
members of their departments to donate blood at the GOLM, which is
attempting to break the one-day national blood drive record of
1,968 pints, and encouraged other departments across the county to
do the same.
"It's amazing to me that Rutland has already held the
second-largest blood drive in U.S. history, and I think it would be
a tremendous boost to the community to break the record," Baker
said. "I've come to believe in Rutland, and I think the
record might help the community believe in itself a little
WJJR Program Manager Terry Jaye, one of Rutland's greatest
cheerleaders and co-organizer of the GOLM, agreed. "This community
has rallied around cause after cause over the years, and I think
Rutland deserves this," Jaye said. "Breaking the national
record would speak volumes about the people of this area."
For an appointment for the Dec. 18 event, which is strongly
suggested, call 800-RED-CROSS or visit www.giftoflifemarathon.com.
Potential donors are encouraged to visit www.redcrossblood.org for
eligibility requirements. For regular updates on the
Gift-of-Life Marathon visit www.giftoflifemarathon.com.