Recruiting Next Lifesaving Generation

Photo of the blog author By Ron Fanfair,
Toronto Police Service
Published: noon June 3, 2015

Police officers recruited students as life-long lifesavers, joining them in giving blood.

A girl in a chair with an iV setup beside a nurse
Maryam Rashid donates blood alongside fellow students and officers
  • A girl in a chair with an iV setup beside a nurse
  • A man in TPS uniform in a chair with an IV setup with a nurse working on equipment beside him

Maryam Rashid said she have always thought making a blood donation, but never tried it before.

The Harbord Collegiate Grade 12 student finally got around to it on May 26 when she and fellow students joined 14 Division officers in donating blood at the Canadian Blood Services clinic at 67 College St.

“I know there is always a need for blood and that’s why I wanted to make a donation,” she said. “It’s going for a great cause and I am happy I am able to do this.”

Grade 11 student Annabel Hunter was happy to join her schoolmate at the event.

“Donating blood is a great thing to do,” she said. “That’s why I wanted to be here to do this.”

The students and officers donated blood as part of the Students & Cops Saving Lives initiative.

“We have to praise the Toronto cops for being part of this important initiative,” said CBS donor management and OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network Coordinator Hailu Mulatu. “They took it upon themselves to reach out to high schools, recruit students, sign them up and then use their own transportation to bring the students to and from our clinic.”

The initiative started in the last school year.

“We had about 12 students and cops last year and our expectations this year are for about 40,” Mulatu said.

Constables Patty Retsinas and Paul Gribbon were among the officers who made donations.

“This is something I should be doing regularly because it helps saves lives,” said Retsinas. “Throughout my career, I have seen a lot of people in need of blood and I have family members who were in desperate need of transfusions.”

Each whole-blood donation can be used to help three patients.

Anyone wishing to donate blood or learn more can visit Canadian Blood Services at or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

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