Friday, June 19, 2009

Police, Fire engage in Battle for Blood starting June 20

A seemingly innocuous day of family fun will kick off a week-long, metro-wide turf war to save lives.

Kansas City Police and Fire departments will join other law enforcement and firefighting agencies around the Kansas City region in the 15th Annual Battle for Blood that will take place June 20-26 at all Community Blood Center locations. Last year, the Police pulled out a narrow victory with 912 registered blood donors to Fire’s 868 donors. Police will make every effort to retain the Champion’s Cup in 2009.

The Kansas City Missouri Police and Fire departments will help kick off the Battle at the Community Blood Center’s 4040 Main St. location from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fire equipment will be on display, as will several police elements, including the Canine and Mounted Patrol sections, the DWI-Blood Alcohol Test van and the roll-over car accident simulator. Radio station KFKF will be broadcasting live, and the TIPS Hotline-mobile will be roaming between Community Blood Center locations around the metro. A free hot dog lunch will be served, and all registered donors will receive a free T-shirt. Everyone is invited to attend.

The Battle for Blood comes at a pivotal time for the Community Blood Center, just before the Fourth of July holiday.

“Our blood supply is critically low for every blood type, especially O,” said Maureen O’Sullivan, Community Blood Center’s Director of Donor Recruitment. “We’re at about a 1-day or less supply.”

O’Sullivan said summer is always a slow time for blood donations with people on vacation and high schools – from which the Center draws about 15 percent of its donor pool – out of session. Holiday weekends like the Fourth of July slow donations even more.

“That’s why we time it right before a holiday because we absolutely count on Battle for Blood,” O’Sullivan said.

Anyone can participate in the Battle for Blood and pick their favorite team – Police or Fire – to benefit from their donation. All donors will receive a free T-shirt. In addition to the Community Blood Center locations listed below, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department will host a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 26, at the Police Academy, 6885 NE Pleasant Valley Road, in the gymnasium.

Blood can be donated at any of the following Community Blood Center locations, and 16-year-olds are now eligible to donate blood with a parent’s permission. Donors at all locations will receive a free T-shirt, and on Saturday, all locations also will serve a free hot dog lunch:

Kansas City
4040 Main St.
7265 North Oak Trafficway
Blue Springs
1124 W. 40 Highway
Overland Park
10568 Metcalf Ave.
1463 E. 151st St.
1410 Kasold

Check out for more information, to make an appointment, and daily donation totals for Police and Fire.