Ardmore’s “Boots, Badges, and Gurneys” blood drive is Tuesday
ARDMORE, Oklahoma (KXII) - Ardmore’s fire department, police department and the Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Services are engaging in some friendly competition this year for an Oklahoma Blood Institute donor drive.
The drive will be held at the Ardmore Convention Center on Tuesday, Oct. 20.
To help a team win, donors will choose a team; Boots, Badges, or Gurneys. At the end of the day, the first responders with the most donations will be declared the winners.
Ardmore Police Assistant Chief Kevin Norris said he’s not worried.
“It’s always a good competition anytime we can compete against the fire department,” Norris said. “So we would appreciate if the donation was made on the badge’s behalf that way we can beat the fire department as we always do.”
Ardmore Fire Department Training Officer Jason Woydziak said that is why it is the Fire Department’s turn to win.
“We’re all very competitive groups,” Woydziak said. “We’re all type-A personalities and we all wanna win. Seems like year after year the police win, so let’s go team fire this year.”
“We’re all in it together, saving lives and that’s what donating blood is going to do,” Southern Oklahoma Ambulance Service Director of Operations Jeff Taylor said. “But if they have to choose… go for the gurneys.”
For Woydziak, the need for blood became personal when his mother went to the hospital a few weeks ago.
“She ended up needing six units over two days,” Woydziak said. “And had blood not been available, we’d be attending a funeral instead of preparing for a blood drive.”
A typical donation is one unit.
“I think it’s very important with everything that is going on in the community that people come out and participate,” Norris said. “With the COVID crisis, it did cut down on the blood supplies.”
After COVID-19 hit, the OBI lost out on 30,000 units of blood due to appointment cancellations. Crews said that is a month’s supply of blood.
“Were getting close to the holidays,” Crews said. “We’re starting to build our supply up for the holidays.”
Crews said donors should sign up for a time online so there won’t be too many people in the building.
The event will have ambulances, fire trucks and police cars.
Donors can get a free shirt and tour fire trucks, police cars and ambulances. Free donuts will be provided in the morning and hot dogs and hamburgers will be grilled for lunch and dinner.
“Donating blood saves lives,” Taylor said." That’s really what it boils down to."
Crews said the vehicle tours show what the first responders do, and the donations make sure the first responders have what they need in an emergency.
“You never know who that blood is going to,” Woydziak said. “You could donate on Tuesday and a family member needs it on Wednesday.”
“It could be your kinfolk, it could be your friends, or it could be a complete stranger,” Taylor said. “But it’s very important to save a life.”
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