ITHACA, N.Y. — Recent disasters have heightened the need for blood donations. Locally there are a few places to donate, including a blood drive this weekend at the Ithaca Fire Department.

The Ithaca Fire Department is hosting a “Sound the Alarm” blood drive from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Ithaca Central Fire Station, 310 W. Green St.

The event at the Ithaca Fire Department is a collaboration between Ithaca Professional Fire Fighters, the Ithaca Fire Department and the American Red Cross.

For residents who cannot make the event Saturday but still want to donate, there are several blood drives planned in Ithaca and Tompkins County this week and next. There are blood drives at Anabel Taylor Hall at Cornell University, Center Ithaca, Beechtree Care Center and others.

To give blood, donors must be at least 17 (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and in good health, the American Red Cross says. All blood types are needed, but O-negative is the most useful because any blood type can receive it. For plasma and platelets, the universal donor type is AB. For a standard blood donation, people can donate every 56 days; for “power red” donations, every 112 days; and for platelet donations, people can donate every seven days up to 24 times a year.

To make an appointment and for more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit

Featured photo provided by Flickr

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.