Orange County Hosts Blood Drive for Firefighters Injured in Silverado Blaze

Orange County Hosts Blood Drive for Firefighters Injured in Silverado Blaze
Firefighter Raymond Vasquez battles the Silverado Fire in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 26, 2020. (Jae C. Hong/AP Photo)
Jack Bradley

Local health agencies in Southern California have organized a blood drive in honor of the two firefighters injured last month in the Silverado Fire.

The blood drive will take place at the Orange County Global Medical Center on Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The center is located at 1001 N. Tustin Ave. in Santa Ana.

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.

The fire caused tens of thousands of evacuations and scorched 12,466 acres before being fully extinguished on Nov. 7. Iwaarden and Le are members of the Santiago Hand Crew, based out of Modjeska Canyon’s Station 18, which battled the blaze.

OCFA Capt. Ben Gonzalez told The Epoch Times that both injured firefighters are still in the hospital.

“They are in critical condition and still steadily improving,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said the event is being held “in honor of the two firefighters,” but that other blood collected will go to a blood bank.

“They'll be able to use what they can for them if they’re a match, but the rest of course will be hopefully used for somebody else that could utilize it too,” Gonzalez said.

“If you donate blood, it’s not just for the two firefighters ... the blood will also definitely go out and help other people, so that’s what’s important,” he said.

“But we want to always suggest people to donate for any situation because we all know that blood is a very important thing. A lot of people can use it for different sorts of situations, other than just this one in this case.”

Southern California nonprofit LifeStream Blood Bank will host the blood drive. Lifestream provides blood and services to more than 80 hospitals and facilities in six counties, according to its website.

KPC Health Global Medical Centers and Calvary Church are also sponsoring the drive. KPC is a health care provider that runs the facility where the event will be held.

Appointments are recommended to maintain social distancing. Walk-ins are also welcome, although there may be a wait. Face coverings are required.

People who want to participate should be sure to drink plenty of water prior to attending, and bring a photo ID with proof of age. Donors under 17 must bring a signed LifeStream parental consent form.

To make an appointment, call (800) 879-4484 or visit