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Fallston car crash survivors organize blood drive to thank first responders

Two young men who were seriously hurt in a crash in Fallston in January are organizing a blood drive as a thank you to the first responders who helped save them.

Josh Wilson was driving Brendan Weinhold to McDonald's, near the intersection of Routes 1 and 152, after a high-school basketball game Jan. 30 when they were involved in an accident that almost cost Wilson his life, according to a flier sent out by family and friends.

They are now urging people to turn out for a blood drive at the Fallston Volunteer Fire Station on Carrs Mill Road on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. to thank both the Red Cross and the Fallston Volunteer Fire Company.

Josh is now 20 and Brendan is 16. Josh graduated from Fallston High School while Brendan is still a student there.

"They saved our friend's life," Brendan's father, Rob, wrote on a Facebook page for the blood drive.

I've been to many crime/accident scenes; however, this night, my 16 year-old son was a passenger in [a] car that was hit by an impaired driver that ran a stop sign."

"Josh spent more than a month in Shock Trauma and rehabilitation continues," Weinhold also wrote. "I witnessed, first hand, Josh trapped in a vehicle only to be extracted and attended to by this incredible first responder team."

Josh received more than 15 units of blood as a result of his injuries, according to the flier.

In his response, according to the flier, Josh said, "Once I fully recover, I want to visit with the men and women who essentially saved my life that night. And just to think, what you guys do isn't for money, but rather the joy of saving people from accidents like mine… I can't say it enough, but 'thank you'."

The Fallston Group, where Rob Weinhold works, has also been active in taking part in the blood drive.

Kristi Frisch, client services manager, said she is planning to donate blood for the first time.

"I guess we are just trying to get the word out as much as possible," Frisch said Monday. "I think it's great that they want to give back to the community and help others the way that they were able to be helped."

Frisch said it is great to see two high-school boys involved in giving back to their community.

"The story really touched me, and I guess seeing how compassionate and willing to give back the youth is makes me want to give back as well," she said.

Besides the blood drive, the families are also raising money to help outfit the fire engines with proper automated external defibrillators (AEDs), each of which costs $1,200.

Donations can be made to the Fallston station and sent to: P.O. Box 141, Fallston, MD 21047.

Those wishing to donate blood can reserve their time by logging onto the American Red Cross website.

More information is also available at Facebook, by searching "Friends of Weinhold and Wilson Blood Drive."

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