Firefighters encourage conversations during Organ Donation Week

Throughout Organ Donation Week 2021, AF&RS are joining forces with emergency service colleagues in the NHS to encourage local residents to talk about organ donation with their loved ones.

In 2020 the law around organ donation in England changed to an opt-out system, to enable more people to save more lives. This means that unless you choose to opt out, or are in an excluded group, you will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when you die.

 Although the system has changed, organ donation remains your choice and families will still be involved before organ donation goes ahead.

 Firefighters, staff and families are getting the organ donation conversation started. As a Service, staff have been having heart-to-hearts over cups of tea, wearing pink to encourage questions about organ donation and walking in a heart-shape with loved ones.

 Mandy Peskett, Partnerships Manager at AF&RS, said, "We began supporting our NHS colleagues in 2019 by wrapping a number of our fire engines with organ donation messages, to encourage our communities to talk about their wishes in readiness for the 2020 law change. It is a pleasure to continue to support the NHS with their Leave Them Certain campaign, and Organ Donation Week provides us with great opportunity to do that. I hope that raising awareness will help people to make and share those important decisions, and ultimately make an extraordinary difference to people’s lives."

Your family can override your decision, so it’s important that you talk with them about organ donation and whether you’d want to be a donor. That way, if your family are ever involved in discussions about organ donation, they will have the certainty to support your decision at a difficult time.

If you don’t have family, or want to ask someone else to support your decision, such as a faith leader, your GP or a good friend, you can nominate a representative instead.

Every day in the UK, someone dies waiting for an organ transplant, because there just aren’t enough organ donors.

The best way to make your decision known is to record it on the NHS Organ Donation Register and tell your loved ones.