UHDB and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have teamed up to turn two fire vehicles pink to raise awareness for organ donation.
The new-look fire engine and fire car were launched at an official ceremony at Burton Community Fire Station on Monday 2 September, with the vehicles fully decked out in pink – the official colour of the organ donation campaign.
The vehicles will remain pink for two years and were launched at the beginning of Organ Donation Week 2019. The key theme of this year’s campaign surrounds the changing of the laws in England which mean that as of Spring 2020, all adults will be automatically enrolled onto the organ donation register unless they specifically state otherwise. At present, three people die every day waiting for a vital organ donation, and the campaign this year aims to encourage more people to discuss organ donation.
Ian Poxon, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at Burton site for UHDB, said: “On behalf of everyone at the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, I’d like to thank our colleagues at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service for working with us on this project.
“Organ donation is vitally important, so it will be fantastic to see the fire appliance and fire car out in the community helping to spread that message. An organ transplant can save or transform someone’s life, and we encourage everyone to talk about the topic and make themselves aware of the changing laws which come into force in England in 2020 - meaning all adults will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die – unless they’ve said that they didn’t want to be a donor.
“Sign the register today or register you wish not to donate - either way please don’t leave it till it’s too late for anyone to hear your voice.
Burton Community Fire Station Manager, John Kitchener, added: “We really welcomed the opportunity to support such an important cause and work with our partner agencies.
“A fire appliance will always catch the attention of the public and the hope here is that when people see the vehicles either attending incidents or carrying out prevention work in the community they will see the message and consider organ donation. This is something that really can save so many lives so we would encourage people to sign up.”
Speaking at the event, Dr Kathy McLean, Chair of UHDB said: "Now we have a pink fire engine and car here in Burton, it can really serve as the start of the conversation around organ donation, so I'd like to thank everyone who has been involved. I'm sure it's going to make a massive difference to patients now and in the future."