Manitoba RCMP has launched its annual Sirens For Life challenge, a friendly summer competition encouraging blood donations from first responders.  

Organized by Canadian Blood Services, the challenge invites police, firefighters, paramedics, and other first responders to see who can donate the most blood.  

Corporal Julie Courchaine of the Manitoba RCMP emphasized the importance of the initiative.  

"As a police officer, I've been to too many serious or fatal collisions," she says. "Sometimes, we don't think about it as it's happening. But later on, you think that blood is potentially saving a lot of these people's lives. I was talking with STARS yesterday. It is definitely something they see, loading people on and getting that blood to them. I think sometimes we forget just how important that is and how easy it can be to donate."

The Corporal explains that since first responders can be stationed in remote areas, they are working with mobile blood drives in various communities to make it easier for those who can participate.  

Courchaine shares that hearing personal stories, like that of a paramedic whose life was saved by blood donations, highlights the importance of giving blood.  

"I was there donating, and there was a paramedic talking about what she went through in her 20s, how blood saved her life. It's a reminder that ‘Wow, anyone can do this, it doesn't take a lot of time and it could potentially save lives.' It's very important." 

To join the challenge, donors can book an appointment online or call 1-888-236-DONATE. The competition runs through August, so there is plenty of time to contribute.