Boots & Badges blood drive has a strong participation

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LAWTON, Oklahoma (KSWO) – On Saturday, more than 100 people donated blood during the Boots and Badges blood drive.

Those who donated blood at the event were able to vote if they wanted to donate for the boots, which are the firefighters, or the badges, which are the police departments.

Oklahoma Blood Institute of Southwest Oklahoma Executive Director Christi Chambers said it was the best turnout the event has seen in years.

“I think it brings camaraderie, it brings everyone together, it feels good to have an event and to be able to celebrate both fire and police, and then also to donate blood, and to be able to save the lives of three people with one gift, ”Chambers said.

Andrew Grubbs of the Lawton Police Department said the event highlighted friendly competition between groups of first responders. The event will benefit anyone in need of blood, but the firefighters had extra motivation to win today in honor of their former captain Scott Preston, who battles leukemia.

“Well, obviously anyone who needs blood benefits them, but for the Lawton Fire Department and Lawton Police Department, Captain Scott Preston of the Lawton Fire Department is grappling with leukemia and still needs blood. So it benefits him particularly, and a lot of people here are donating specifically for him. So that’s really why we’re trying to raise awareness and get people to come and donate, ”Grubbs said.

Although the competition is tight, the firefighters came out victorious, receiving 63 donations to the 55 in the police department. Chambers said blood donated on Saturday would remain in the area to help those in need.

Anyone 16 years of age or older can usually donate blood every 56 days, and you can donate whether or not you have received the COVID-19 vaccine. To make an appointment, visit OBI.org.

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