Blood Drive for Injured Orange County Firefighters Inspires a Sequel

November 21, 2020 Updated: November 21, 2020

A second blood drive for two Orange County firefighters injured in the recent Silverado Fire will be held following the resounding success of the first event.

The second blood drive will take place at the Orange County Global Medical Center on Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center is located at 1001 N. Tustin Ave. in Santa Ana, California.

The event is being hosted in honor of Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) firefighters Dylan Van Iwaarden and Phi Le. Both suffered critical burns after combating the Silverado Fire, which erupted in the Irvine area on Oct. 26, and are recuperating at the facility.

OCFA Capt. Paul Holaday told The Epoch Times that the first drive held on Nov. 19 was “very successful.”

“We had people coming through all day long,” Holaday said.

“Initially we were doing both reservations and walk-ins, but we filled up all of the reservation spots. We were taking walk-ins as we could, but we had to turn quite a few people away because the chairs where they draw blood were full all day. There was never a break.”

Holaday said the department’s union and Benevolent Association made concerted efforts to create public awareness of the drive.

“It’s that time of year, any year, that blood supplies are low. This year in particular with COVID, nationwide the blood supplies are low,” said Holaday.

“For us there’s a great opportunity to both help our two firefighters that are needing quite a bit of blood for their surgeries, but also to restock the county’s [blood bank] shelves.”

Holaday said the firefighters are getting the blood they need, and the excess is being used to restock the blood bank shelves. He said the injured men are continuing to improve slowly.

“They both do need blood transfusions when they have their surgeries, but this event is definitely netting more blood to the blood bank than what our guys are using,” he said.

“Every unit of blood that’s donated, they use for three patients. Three whole patients, or eight children. So your one unit of blood that you give, they’re able to treat three adults or eight children.”

People who want to sign up for blood or plasma donations can make reservations at LStream.org, the Lifestream Blood Drive website.

“They do have the ability for the plasma donations, to sign up for that. If somebody has recovered from COVID and has the antibodies, they would love to have the plasma donations, because those supplies are in short supply as well,” Holaday said.

“We want to thank the community for their support. It’s that time of year, and with everything going on, anything we can do to help out the community is awesome. A big thank you to the community for helping out.”