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Blood drive collects 112 pints for injured firefighter

New York City firefighter Robert Wiedmann.

New York City firefighter Robert Wiedmann. Credit: Handout

A blood drive was held Tuesday at the Syosset Fire Department in honor of FDNY Firefighter Robert Wiedmann, who was badly injured in a Brooklyn fire in December.

Wiedmann sustained mostly third-degree burns on more than half of his body and has been hospitalized ever since. The 38-year-old Islip Terrace man has blood Type O negative, a rarity, and is in constant need of blood transfusions as he undergoes weekly grafting surgeries, said the drive’s organizer, Rande Hirsch.

Hirsch said 112 pints of blood were collected. The drive was collecting all blood types for the New York Blood Center, but Type O negative blood was going directly to Robert Wiedmann.

His father, Bob Wiedmann, of Baldwin, said since news of his son’s injury got out, there have been blood drives held all around the tri-state area, and even inquiries from a German fire department about how it could help.

“Fire departments are one big brotherhood,” said Bob Wiedmann, 68, a member of the Baldwin Volunteer Fire Department. “You don’t believe it until you live it.”

The Syosset blood drive was sponsored by the Syosset Fire Department and David Lerner Associates, the Syosset-based financial investment planning firm where Robert Wiedmann’s mother, Irene, has worked for 17 years.

“My David Lerner family has been wonderful,” Irene Wiedman said. “And the support from this community is just wonderful.”

Hirsch, who also works at David Lerner, said she wanted to organize the drive to show her friend how widespread support for her family could be.

“She has been so strong,” she said of Irene Wiedmann. “We had to do something, and this was it.”

Type O negative donors who wish to continue to designate blood for Robert Wiedmann can do so by referencing group number 66332 at the site where they donate. For further information, contact Rande Hirsch at 516-390-5504 or

Above: Irene Wiedmann of Baldwin thanks a co-worker for attending the blood drive in honor of her son Robert, as others wait to donate. (Jan. 31, 2012)

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