Pleasantville Fire Department holds blood drive to counter supply shortage

The Pleasantville Fire Department organized a blood drive Thursday to stock up on blood supplies as blood centers typically see a drop in donations over the summer months.
Kathleen Koran has donated blood for a very long time.
"Since I was 19, I did the math and I can't believe it's been 50 years," Koran said.
Donating blood for her is personal because she hasn't only been on the donation side. She's had an up close and personal look at how life-changing blood donations are. Her mother suffered from a blood disorder.
"Her blood didn't work right, so she had to have transfusions," Koran said
The blood transfusions allowed her mother to live another 14 years and she likes to think, maybe with her donations, she's giving another daughter some extra time with her mother.
About 45% of all blood donated goes to live-changing procedures such as blood transfusions and surgeries, and 4 to 5% to emergencies like car accidents. It's a scene that firefighter Rich Benkwitt has seen many times and are in the back of his mind every time he donates blood.
"Usually, there's a medic on location, and they'll tell us that were extricating someone from the car. They're still alive right, now they think they're failing. So we just have to go there as quickly as possible, extricate them from the car, get them into the ambulance and to the hospital," Benkwitt said.
The New York Blood Center says the pandemic has led to a critically low blood inventory. In order to eradicate the shortage in the tri state area, they would need to get 2,000 blood donations a day.
The New York Blood Center will take any type of blood, but there is a critical need for O blood, positive or negative, as well as as A- and B-.
Anyone over the age of 16 can donate.
According to the New York Blood Center, each time a person donates blood, they are saving three lives.