Almost 200 people answered the call Wednesday to donate blood in the name of Las Vegas.
“We have had an amazing outpouring of people from one of our most generous communities,” said Nicole Frosini, donor recruitment representative from United Blood Services in Reno.
Included in the number of volunteers who donated blood were many law enforcement officers from the Fallon Police Department.
“It was awesome seeing our police officers out in force,” said Terri Pearson, student council adviser. “First there were two, then two more and after that two more.”
Frosini, who grew up in Las Vegas but attended college at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the collected blood will be taken to Reno and distributed to areas where needed. She said more than likely the collected blood from many locations will be used to replenish the thousands of pints that were needed to treat the injured victims from Sunday’s mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip which killed 58 country music fans and injured more than 500.
Jake Kinner, an assistant donor care supervisor with UBS, said Churchill County High School does well in singing up volunteers to give blood. Because of the tragedy in Las Vegas, he said Wednesday’s activity appeared busier than normal.
He said lines at UBS in Reno were extending outside the building early Wednesday morning.
Angelina Mattern she signed up before the events in Las Vegas unfolded. The Fallon junior said it was important to donate blood.
“It’s important the community came in because a lot of people need help either here or in Las Vegas.
She said she wasn’t surprised with the number of people who came in to donate blood.
Jessica Beyer, a CCHS special education teacher, said she it’s great to see everyone come out.
“It so nice to see people who really care and are ready to help,” she said.
If people were unable to donate blood, Frosini said the next blood drive in Fallon will be conducted at the Churchill County Fire Station, 20 N. Carson St., on Oct. 17 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Churchill County Federal Credit Union is sponsoring the blood drive.
As students and adults gave blood, Fallon is feeling the affects of the shooting, said Mayor Ken Tedford.
“My heart is heavy. You have great people in a great city,” he said. “They’re Nevadans who have been attacked. When incidents like these strike at home, they affect us more deeply.”
Tedford praised both Clark County law enforcement personnel and elected officials for their response, which he called immediate and caring. The Fallon mayor and Nevada native said he is confident the governor and elected officials will do the right thing.
Tedford lamented the number of victims and the number of families who have been affected. He said when incidents like this strike at home, many people feel the pain. The incident is also affecting a member of Tedford’s family. He said a sorority sister with his daughter at Texas Christian University was shot and remains in critical condition at a Las Vegas hospital.
Dr. Sandra Sheldon, superintendent of the Churchill County School District, sent out a message on the district’s Facebook site.
“The Churchill County Board of Trustees and I offer heartfelt condolences to those families impacted by yesterday’s shooting in Las Vegas. This shooting was senseless and heartbreaking.
“This tragic incident reminds us of the importance of having safety protocols in place for our students and staff. Teachers are trained on various drills including shelter in place and evacuation.
“Be assured that the safety of Churchill CSD students and staff are our no. 1 priority. Again, our sympathies and thoughts go out to the victims, families, and responders to that horrific attack on innocent people.”
Sheriff Ben Trotter said it was unbelievable an incident such as the Las Vegas shooting occurred. He said local law enforcement agencies, though, continually train to handle situations like Sunday night’s incident. Agencies train with each other and also with Naval Air Station Fallon in dealing with active shooters.
“It’s cowardice of someone with that mindset,” Trotter said of the shooter.
Fallon native Rachel Dahl, former director of the Churchill Economic Development Authority and now president and CEO of Mesquite Regional Business, said she was saddened by the shooting.
“My heart goes out,” she said. “It’s so close to home.”
While people may have had similar feeling after 9/11, she said the feelings hurt more because “it happened in our backyard.”
Dahl said she appreciates the response of Gov. Brian Sandoval and other elected officials, both at the local and state levels.
“I am so proud of our representatives whether they’re Democrat or Republican” she said. “They are standing together talking about our state.”