Sioux Falls, S.D. - UPDATE, December 28: After two days of the Heroes Behind the Badges Blood Drive, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue still holds a narrow lead over the Police Department.
319 donations have been given, which enough to help 957 patients, according to Community Blood Bank spokesperson Rita Nelson. 162 donations have been given on behalf of Fire Rescue, while 157 have been given on behalf of SFPD.
UPDATE, December 27: More than 200 donations were given in the first day of the Heroes Behind the Badges Blood Drive.
Rita Nelson of the Community Blood Blank said Wednesday that firefighters got off to a slight lead in the first day with 107 donations, while police were just behind with 100 donations.
A rivalry between the Sioux Falls Police Department and Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is heating up once again. The 22nd annual Heroes Behind the Badges Blood Drive kicked off Tuesday. It only takes 20 to 30 minutes to donate one pint of blood and that pint saves three lives.
“It’s super easy to donate. There’s not much to it,” Sioux Falls donor, Justin Waggoner said.
“We're looking for people to give that final gift. That gift of life and that's really what they're doing here,” Sioux Falls Community Blood Bank Executive Director, Ken Versteeg said.
The competition is on for Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and the Sioux Falls Police Department.
“The goal of it all is to bring in people to give blood at a time where it’s just historically low. It’s friendly competition that goes back and forth every year. It’s really close towards the end there and hopefully this year it turns out well for fire,” Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Division Chief Jeff Helm said.
“We've always had a little rivalry with them, but yeah it’s definitely a friendly competition. We’re always hoping to beat the fire department. They beat us last year. So we'd like to bring the trophy back home this year. We'd love if you come out and give some blood for us,” Sioux Falls Police Department Officer, Tina Bruxvoort said.
That’s exactly what people did. More than 100 donors came out Tuesday to kick off the Heroes Behind the Badges blood drive.
“You know its supporting a good cause. I mean first responders here in Sioux Falls, they do so much for our community and I love supporting them in any way we possibly can. Honestly blood is one of those needs that we can really never have enough on hand incase an emergency does happen,” Waggoner said.
That need for blood is something first responders see firsthand.
“There’s an impact for that for us. We see the need for all the things that we provide, but there’s things that we can’t provide on scene. That’s blood. Those things need to be in good supply when they get to the hospital. We see that it meets our mission, both of our mission’s, police and fire. We want to save lives. One way to do that is to give blood,” Helm said.
The actual donation only takes about 5 to 10 minutes. The event runs until January 5th.