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Ladder 151 hosts first boro firehouse blood drive

Sixteen years later, aside from her antidepressant medication and monthly blood tests, Goodwin, now the associate director of Institutional Research at St. John's University, said she is leading a normal productive life."Thanks to those - what I presume to be - 11 different donors, I'm here today," she said.Goodwin was only one of the countless number of patients in the New York area's 250 hospitals who today need more than 2,200 pints of blood every day to survive a botched surgery, a gunshot wound or a car crash, according to the New York Blood Center. It is why, as part of Donate Life Month, Queens has stepped up its blood collection efforts with three drives held last week, one at Ladder 151 in Forest Hills and two on St. John's campus.At Ladder 151, the fire department and the New York Blood Center spent 5-1/2 hours collecting 34 pints - six short of their goal, but, as center spokeswoman Julie Robinson-Tingue said, "it's a good outcome considering it was the first drive ever in a Queens firehouse."Indeed, the event Saturday was a kickoff to blood drives throughout the borough as part of "set the wheels in motion and expand," a recent partnership between the fire department and the blood center, according to Robinson-Tingue."Getting the first one is the toughest, then others follow suit," she said.The Community Emergency Response Team of Forest Hills/Rego Park was also there passing out disaster preparedness information, according to Heidi Chain, the team's co-leader. She said her group was at every area civic meeting for the last month advertising for the drive.More than 80 college students also gave a pint of their blood at St. John's April 13 and 14 drives, according to Jack Flynn, assistant director of Campus Activities. Many more, he said, showed up, but were not eligible to donate because of a tattoo or piercing procedure in the last year or a trip overseas.The turnout was slightly smaller than the 120 pints they expected since it was approaching summer and students were not on campus as often."It's just a matter of getting the message out because it's not going to get done otherwise," Flynn said.They were the most recent drives the school has hosted this year, with four to five more scheduled for the summer and fall, Flynn said.In 2003, the Long Island Blood Services gave St. John's the Gold Award for collecting 1,010 pints of blood that year, the third-highest amount in Queens.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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