Residents from Verona, Cedar Grove, North Caldwell and other nearby towns lined up at the Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad on Monday waiting for their turn to donate blood.
“The Blood Center of New Jersey (BCNJ) is in a Severe Emergency Blood Shortage situation and needs all those who are eligible to please donate,” Rescue Squad officials said.
Snow storms and seasonal flus have contributed to the blood shortage, they added.
Darlene Black-Webb, a Registered Nurse and Team Leader for the Blood Center of New Jersey has been assisting with blood donations for 40 years, she said. Besides the obvious reason of donating blood to help those in need, blood donations also have a positive effect for the donor.
“It's good for people to build new cells, it's like an oil change for your body,” she said.
Scott Cohen of Cedar Grove comes to donate blood just about every time they hold one, he said.
“It's for a good cause and people need blood all the time,” he said. “All you have to do is lay back and let them take some of your blood.”
Members of the Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad also donated blood, including Scott Larson, who has donated more than 60 times, he said.
"We see people who need blood all the time," he added.
Caldwell resident, Liz Flack also tries to donate blood as often as she can, especially since she is a universal donor with a blood type of O negative.
“It's easy and you can help people with just a pinch,” she said.
All donors received $15 in gift cards to Shop Rite as well as a free rejuvenating snack and juice.
By the end of the blood drive, 90 people had made donations and the Blood Center of New Jersey collected 79 pints of blood, said Larson.