Want to donate blood in the Maranoa? You'll have to drive
RIKI Gerhardt travelled more than 500km to make a selfless donation which saves three lives.
The Roma resident desperately wanted to support a friend in need by donating blood but had to go to the Sunshine Coast to be able to do it.
Currently the Red Cross are urging people to donate blood in this critical winter/flu season but for people who, like Mr Gerhardt, live in rural areas this means making the trek to a major city.
"I don't know why they (Red Cross) don't bring the mobile van out to Roma," Mr Gerhardt said.
"I think they used but not any more though."
"I know there would be a fair few people willing to donate blood here."
Mr Gerhardt said that donating blood wasn't something to be afraid of and to not be put off by the needle.
"I was terrified of the needle to begin with, but it's not a big deal really."
"And at the end you get juice and a cookie, so it's pretty cool."
Supervising scientist at Roma Pathology Patricia Roche said she's recently had someone call and ask if they could donate blood at their clinic but she had to refer them on to Toowoomba.
"I think there's always a part of the community who would donate blood if it was easier for them to do so," Ms Roche said.
"So if it was more convenient for them, if they could just pop down and do it as part of their daily routine instead of having to organise a trip to Toowoomba."
Mr Gerhardt said he would of loved to go to Toowoomba to donate blood but the entire centre was booked at the time and is really hard to get in to.
Red Cross Queensland spokeswoman Belinda Smetioukh said although they would love to have the vans everywhere, it was just not practical because of logistics.
"We have to be in the right places so that we collect the right amount of blood for the demand," Ms Smetioukh said.
"A lot of work goes in to where we collect blood and at the moment the places we visit are all set a year in advance."
Ms Smetioukh said people living in the Maranoa region can visit their nearest blood donor service in Toowoomba if the wish to donate blood.
"Toowoomba is the closest centre for people in that area but just make sure you ring in advance to book an appointment as it is quite a busy centre," she said.
"We wish we could be everywhere but unfortunately we just cant be everywhere at once."
All blood collected in Queensland by the Red Cross is transported to the processing and testing system in Brisbane to be redistributed to wherever is needed across Queensland.