Bolinda and Monegeetta firefighter Kylie Vernados is encouraging other members to join the Emergency Services Blood Challenge to donate blood. ​

Following World Blood Donor Day on Sunday, Country Fire Authority members across the state are rolling up their sleeves as part of the Emergency Services Blood Challenge.

For one volunteer firefighter from Bolinda and Monegeetta Fire Brigade, the challenge is personal.

Kylie Vernados was once in desperate need of donor blood, sparking her call for fellow CFA members to become involved and donate if able to.

The annual challenge, by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood Service, is from June 1 to August 31, and encourages emergency service workers to join the team and donate, competing to win the challenge and save lives.

Ms Vernados said she required three units of red blood cells after severe anaemia impacted her quality of life.

“It was my only option for treatment,” she said.

“Prior to having the blood transfusion, I was really fatigued, low energy, getting short of breath when I was doing very little strenuous activity, irregular heart rates… it was stopping me from doing a lot of things that I really wanted to do.

“It’s made a big, big difference.”

Ms Vernados said while not everyone was able to donate blood, it was a great way to help others if people were able to.

“I’d really encourage everyone who can donate to get out there and do it,” she said.

“There are a lot of people like myself who can’t donate, and we’re so grateful for those who can.

“You just never know when you or someone you love may need blood products, so if you can do it – please do.”

One in every three Australians will need blood or blood products in their lifetime, however only one in 30 Australians donate blood each year.

People can register to donate at donateblood.com.au.

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