Blawnox VFC hosting blood drive to assist critical shortage


An upcoming blood drive sponsored by the Blawnox Volunteer Fire Company is aimed at helping people in the community and beyond.

Victor Eperthener, department member and blood drive coordinator, said, “We want to help people all across the Pittsburgh area.”

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Blawnox Municipal Building, 376 Freeport Road. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome.

The blood drive is being offered in conjunction with Vitalant. According to the nonprofit’s website, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.

On Sept. 1, Vitalant issued an emergency alert after supplies fell nearly 50% from the beginning of summer. They urge all eligible donors to make an appointment and help replenish the blood supply.

People have to be covid symptom-free for at least 10 days.

Fire Chief Jeff Stephens said hosting a drive in the community makes it more convenient for some people to participate.

“With the blood supply being at a critical level, we wanted to help,” he said. “This makes it easier for everyone to donate.”

Mike Yonas, fire president, said first responders often see patients and accident victims with traumatic injuries in need of immediate care.

“Knowing that there is a critical shortage of life-saving donor blood in our region is a call to action for everyone that is able to help and give,” he said. “It just makes sense that we promote blood donation and to help wherever we can.”

In 2021, Blawnox Volunteer Fire Company volunteers responded to 433 calls. It is a Quick Response Service and a Level 2a Swiftwater Team, the first in the state to reach that level of recognition. The fire company is preparing to mark its 100th anniversary.

To schedule, visit or call 412-209-7000.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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