When firefighter Joe Brienze was about 10 years old, he needed a blood transfusion.
"I hemorraged when I got my tonsils out because the stitches came out too early," he said after Thursday's blood drive sponsored by the Medfield Fire Department and the American Red Cross.
"I'm donating [blood] because someone helped me at the time and I know it means a lot to Bill because someone helped his wife when she had a baby," Brienze said.
"Bill" is fellow firefighter Bill DeKing who started the now-annual blood drive eight years ago, just months after his wife needed a blood transfusion after childbirth.
"When my daughter was born, my wife got an infection and started to bleed...She needed 29 units of blood and the hospital didn't have everything on hand so they called the Red Cross and they came down with a van in the middle of the night," DeKing said.
That was May 2004 and DeKing has been organizing the event ever since. He said they collected about 40 units of blood this year and have raised close to 500 units in total over the years.
For more information on becoming a blood donor, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org