PITTSBURG — Area residents are used to hearing their local fire department saved the day. However, on Wednesday and Thursday the Pittsburg Fire Department made a big difference without ever breaking out a water hose.

According to the volunteer coordinator on site, Paul Lyle, the Red Cross Blood drive at the Presbyterian Church at 520 N. Pine had a problem which almost shut down the operation.

The regulations which oversee blood drives require that the room is be kept cooler than 82 degrees.

Unfortunately the air conditioning at the church began to malfunction.

“We knew that we needed to do something quickly because that would be 100 pints of blood that wouldn’t be collected if we didn’t have this drive,” Lyle said. “That can affect saving 300 lives.”

Lyle decided he needed to reach out for help, so he did what most people do in an emergency. He called the fire department, and his friend fire chief Mike Simons and asked him if he had a large fan they could use to bring the temperature in the large room down.

Most of the fans the fire department uses are not appropriate for that kind of work, but Lyle said Simons was able to locate an older fan that would do the job. Simons was humble about helping out the blood driving, saying the relationship between the community and the fire department is always a priority for him.

“Obviously blood drives are very important to us, several of my firefighters participate in them, and you can not underestimate the impact of having a drive canceled,” Simons said. “Helping out with this is just in line with what we do, and this was such a simple thing do for them.”

It wasn’t a simple thing to Lyle, who said the quick assistance of Simons definitely saved the drive, and in turn the people who would later need the blood.

“This is the blood drive that almost wasn’t,” Lyle said with a smile. “It was saved because of the willing cooperation between the fire department and the community.”