Monday, February 3, 2014



Huber Height Firefighter/Arcanum resident Andy Rammel.
Ask any firefighter what they think about the Miami Valley’s relentlessly frigid winter of 2014 and they’ll probably answer with the same weariness as Huber Heights Firefighter and Arcanum resident Andy Rammel. “It has not been a fun week,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of furnace and CO (carbon monoxide) calls; Furnaces malfunctioning, not working correctly and people being overcome and needing to be transported, unfortunately.”

It may have been a week of sub-zero temperatures and sub-sub-zero wind chill, but for Andy it was also the week of his regular apheresis donation appointment at the downtown Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC). On Wednesday, Jan. 29 he made his milestone 130th lifetime blood donation.

Andy started donating as a teen in the Grand Lake St. Marys area of Mercer County. He commutes from his home in Arcanum to Huber Heights where he has been a firefighter for 23 years. As a male with blood type A-negative he was an ideal candidate to donate platelets. “I’ve been doing apheresis for about five years now,” he said. “They asked me ‘Would you mind?’ Now I come every three weeks. As soon as I get off on Tuesday mornings (after an overnight shift) I come down and donate.”

His Wednesday donation came after a much-needed day off, but now it’s back to dealing with the hazardous winter weather. He sees helping save lives as a blood donor and a firefighter as missions that go hand in hand. “Because of the work I do, and now I have a sister-in-law fighting cancer,” he said. “In my line of work, unfortunately you see this too much.”

With any luck, by the time Andy arrives for his next apheresis donation the groundhog will be calling for an early spring!


January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month and Community Blood Center (CBC) is recognizing all donors and volunteers who support CBC Donor Centers and mobile blood drives in CBC’s 15-county region of western Ohio and eastern Indiana. Since 1970 January has been designated as a special month to encourage donors to give blood or make a pledge to donate. The 2014 theme is “Make Lifesaving a Habit.”
January was established as National Blood Donor Month because maintaining the community blood supply is traditionally a challenge during the winter months. CBC begins the New Year with an ample reserve and is well positioned to reliably provide our partner hospitals with the blood they need.

CBC’s goal for 2014 is to register 88,000 blood donors and collect 74,000 pints of blood (not every individual who registers to give blood is able to donate). CBC will also strive to register 9,800 platelet donors in order to collect 7,300 units of platelets.

In round numbers, CBC needs about 300 units of blood and platelets from more than 350 donors each day. It remains CBC’s mission and responsibility to recruit these donors and provide the services necessary to complete these goals.

CBC’s message in 2014 will be familiar: Blood donors are real life heroes because of the sacrifice they make to save the lives of people they may never know. If you are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and meet other donor requirements, you may be eligible to donate blood.

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