RIDGEWAY – There were many first-time donors who gave blood Friday at a blood drive in honor of Glen Busch II, a Ridgeway firefighter who needed 178 units of blood after suffering a splenic artery aneurysm on Sept. 14.
Busch endured several emergency surgeries and survived the health scare, as well as a stroke, pulmonary embolism and a collapsed lung. Busch, 35, came home last week.
He and his wife Valerie are dedicated to the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company. Many local firefighters gave blood in Busch’s honor on Friday.
Lee Kistner of the Lyndonville Fire Department gave blood for the first time in about five years on Friday. He was one of about 70 donors.
“He is a fellow firefighter and I feel for him and his family,” Kistner said. “Plus it will help a lot of other people.”
Charlie Smith, a long-time member of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company, said firefighters wanted to do something in honor of Busch. Smith, a long-time nurse with 50 years in the medical field, had never heard of someone needing 178 units of blood. Those units saved Busch’s life.
Ridgeway fire hall hadn’t hosted a blood drive for several years, until Friday’s event in honor of Busch. Smith felt it was a fitting tribute for the firefighter.
“I’m very happy with the community response from the firefighters and the public,” Smith said.
He gave blood on Friday for the first time in about 15 years. His daughter, Lynn Cook, gave for the first time.
“I’ve always wanted to,” said Cook, 34.
Gretchen Russell, a collection technician for the American Red Cross, said the organization is pleased with the turnout.
“We had a lot of first-time donors today,” she said on Friday. “It’s definitely been one of our steadier blood drivers.”