KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Four law enforcement and fire prevention agencies are competing to see who can recruit the most blood donors while honoring those lost during the tragic Sept. 11 attacks. The Tennessee Highway Patrol, Rural Metro Fire, University of Tennessee-Knoxville Police Department, and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up with the American Red Cross for the Remembering the Badges blood drive.
Currently, the Red Cross is seeing fewer blood and platelet donors give as the nation begins to climb out of the pandemic. This downturn comes at a time when the Red Cross continues to see strong demand for blood products by hospitals.
Organizers of the statewide event are striving to collect the number of pints equal to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 – 2,977.
“The need for blood has not diminished as our country begins the process of reopening businesses and travel,” Drea Frondorf, Red Cross account manager for donor recruitment, said. “Our officers have continued to respond to a number of calls involving persons with traumatic injuries as summer travel begins to pick up.
“We need our donors to commit to respond to this need, as we do to daily emergencies. … Donating is easy, and in the eight to ten minutes it takes to donate a pint of blood you could save up to three lives.”
Donors can download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App at RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code “rememberingthebadges” or call 1-800-733-2767 to make an appointment for more information. All blood types are needed.
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. All donors will receive an entry into a drawing for various prizes at each location.
Remembering the Badges blood donation events:
- Rural Metro Fire Department, 9746 Parkside Drive — Friday, July 9, from noon to 5 p.m.
- Farragut Community Center, 239 Jamestown Blvd. — July 29 from noon to 5 p.m.
- East Tennessee American Red Cross, 6921 Middlebrook Pike — Aug. 17 from 1-6 p.m.
- Knox County Sheriff’s Office-Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility, 5001 Maloneyville Road — Aug. 27 from noon to 6 p.m.
- Fox Den Country Club, 12284 N. Fox Den Drive — Sept. 1 from noon to 6 p.m.
According to the Red Cross, blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. In most states, individuals who are 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also need to meet certain height and weight requirements.