NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Six years ago, firefighter Jeff Cool was one of six forced to bail out of a fourth floor window at an illegally subdivided tenement in the Bronx.

The fall killed two men and forever marked the day as “Black Sunday.”

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sean Adams on Cool’s “blessed” survival

Even though Cool sustained crushing injuries, he survived thanks to the EMTs, doctors, nurses and everyday heroes like blood donors.

“By donating blood, you’re saving someone’s life and you’re a hero. I had 72 heroes save my life. I took 72 units of blood,” Cool said.

The West Haverstraw Volunteer Fire House is hosting a blood drive on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and the retired Rockland County firefighter is encouraging people to continue donating blood at any opportunity.

“Giving blood is a tremendous opportunity to give back to your community and possibly save somebody’s life,” Cool said.

Thanks to the severe winter weather, New York Blood Center officials said there is a shortage this season. Weather-related issues forced the Center to cancel many blood drives already, and now they’re trying to catch up.

The fire house is located at 30 E. Railroad Ave. in West Haverstraw. Potential donors can call Joe Bertilino for an appointment at 845-629-3009 or e-mail

  1. Jon says:

    Jeff was not the only one to get vital blood that day, and luckily he along with Gene and now Brendan Cawley are all alive!

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