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Retired Oak Creek Officer shot several times during Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting encourages blood donations

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- On Monday, more than 125 people signed up to donate blood in Wisconsin thanks to a phone bank set up in honor of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Several area first responders from Milwaukee, Wauwautosa, and Greenfield gathered at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin to answer calls to get people signed up to donate blood. It was also an opportunity for callers to thank some of our local first responders.

Retired Oak Creek Police Lieutenant Brian Murphy was one of the volunteers. He knows the need for blood all too well. He was the first officer to respond to the Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting back in 2012. He was shot several times and had many blood transfusions. Now, he’s encouraging others to donate blood.

“If it wasn’t for those generous people who came in and donated I might not be here,” Murphy said.

The BloodCenter says it’s important that people donate blood not just after tragedies, but all year round because it takes time to process and test donated blood.

“In the wake of a tragedy, the only blood that we actually have available is what’s on the shelf,” Waseem Anani, Associate Medical Director of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, said. “Unless we have a steady supply of donors coming in every day we actually will face a shortage during a tragedy.”

Murphy says you may never get to meet who receives your donated blood, but one day it may be you who needs the blood. He has a message for his donors.

“I would just thank them from the bottom of my heart,” Murphy said. “You didn’t just save me you saved my family, you saved my friends and you saved my colleagues.”

Even when the phone bank wraps up you can still call and sign up to donate blood by calling 1-877-BE A HERO (1-877-232-4376). 

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