RANDALL’S ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) — The FDNY’s newest class of probationary firefighters graduates next week, and while they’re not officially on the job yet, most of them are already saving lives. Hundreds donated their blood at the Fire Academy on Randall’s Island on Friday.
“This really fits in with the fire department ethos of paying it forward and serving your community,” said FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh.
According to the New York Blood Center, it has collected 11,164 units of blood at FDNY Headquarters since 1999. At the Fire Academy, it has collected 7,162 units of blood since 2004. As a result, almost 54,978 lives have been saved with just blood donations.
Probies also signed up for bone marrow donations. With one swab, it can determine if they are a match for someone in need.
The class also heard from Kristina Moon, the wife of late firefighter William “Billy” Moon — a proud organ donor who passed away in December after a 20-foot fall while preparing for a training exercise at Rescue 2 in Brooklyn.
Billy donated his heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Two of those organs went to FDNY 9/11 first responders.
Following his death, Kristina is now an advocate for organ donation.
“This has given me a reason, and you kind of redefine your purpose, and it’s a drive to keep going and I realize how important it is,” Kristina said. “It’s almost like my own little piece of therapy.”
There are more than 100,000 people nationwide in need of a transplant, with more than 8,000 in need in New York state.
“One of the things I’ve always learned is an organ doesn’t travel, so the more we have in our communities who are registered donors, the more opportunity we have to help those in our communities,” Kristina added.
New York state has one of the lowest percentages of eligible residents enrolled as donors in the registry. Kristina said that’s another reason to sign up and become an organ donor.