PORT ORANGE, Fla. – The Volusia Ambulance Association hosted a blood drive Tuesday in honor of paramedic Gerald “Jerry” Jones who lost his battle with COVID-19 last month.
Ashley Greene worked with Jones as a paramedic since 2016.
“The loss of Jerry has really been a heartache for all of us and it’s really awesome that we’ve been able to honor him. He’s one of the guys who always introduced himself and make you feel right at home,” said Greene.
Greene was one of many co-workers who flooded the Big Red Bus to donate blood for One Blood on Tuesday morning.
“I’m an emergency room nurse in New Smyrna Beach and I was fortunate enough to work with Jerry,” said Ann Marie Guntlow. “Administering donations, it’s so important especially for those oncology patients and when I heard there was a drive-in memory of Jerry, I’ve shared it, I put memos out to all my friends, emails, posted on my Facebook. I hope it’s a busy drive.”
Rita Jones had no idea who the blood drive was for when she stopped by but was glad she did.
“There’s people out there that are always needing blood. I’ve always donated. So, I saw the bus and said why not,” she said.
One Blood told News 6 they’re expecting 60 to 80 units of blood. People can get a COVID-19 antibodies test which if successful, could help with donating plasma.
Jones' sister, Shyla Pennington also lost her battle with COVID-19 and worked for the Volusia County School District.
People can donate blood on Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. outside the VFW Post at 5810 S. Williamson Blvd, Port Orange. There is a second blood drive location at the DeLand Fire Station located at 1655 East Taylor Road.
Blood donors will receive a free $10 gift card, free OneBlood face mask and a wellness checkup.