CHATHAM, NJ - Donating blood is one of the most important things a person can do because every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and more than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day. To help save lives, on Saturday, Dec. 1, the Chatham EMS held their quarterly blood drive at their location on Passaic Avenue.

The Chatham EMS holds blood drives at their headquarters in December and March, at the Fishawack Festival in June and at the train station in September. Chatham EMS Captain Marty Sechehay said there is usually a turnout of 30-35 donors, but there is always room for more.

While giving blood is always important, with recently canceled drives due to Hurricane Sandy, donating now is even more vital, he said.  He added that when people are displaced from their homes the last thing they are thinking about is donating blood. Sechehay said New Jersey needs 12,000 pints of blood and the more people that help, the more lives can be saved.

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“As crowded as we are, we’re not self-sufficient in blood,” he said. “Donations are not enough to cover the needs.”

NJ Blood Services runs 30 to 40 drives a week in the state and David Frantz has been a donor specialist with them for 10 years. He said his job is great because he gets to meet people who are really making a difference.  

“If you need blood, it’s got to be there when you need it,” Frantz said.

Basking Ridge resident Brian Colombari said he gave blood because it’s the right thing to do. He has donated on several occasions and said it’s a quick, easy process that more people should do.

“It’s a civic duty that I can do and why not do it,” Colombari said.