Denison Fire Department wins blood drive contest

The Denison Fire Department came out victorious over the Denison Police Department in the, “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive” hosted Friday by the Texoma Regional Blood Center.

The winner was announced Monday morning at Denison City Hall.

“The true winners are those that will receive the blood,” said Denison Police Chief Jay Burch.

According to the executive director of Texoma Regional Blood Center Stacy Braddock, 115 people came to donate. They were able to accept 95 of those people and they were able to obtain 285 products from the donors.

Only 20 people were not able to give blood.

“Sometimes a person cannot give because it has not been 56 days since they last gave blood or they have low iron levels,” said Texoma Regional’s director of donor resources Deedee Morehead.

Fire Chief Gordon Weger accepted the award for his department. They won by five votes.

Donors came into the blood center, filled out the necessary paperwork, and completed a ballot for the department they wanted to win the blood drive. They also registered for the door prizes. If a donor was told that they could not donate at that time, their vote was still counted.

“We appreciate your support,” said Braddock. “It is a competition, but it is all about saving lives so we thank you.”

This is the first competition between the police and fire departments in Denison. Sherman and Bonham have been holding similar competitions for more than five years.

“I would like to take the time to informally challenge Sherman to a blood drive,” said Burch.

The blood donated supplies Texoma Medical Center, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital-WNJ, Heritage Park Surgical Hospital, Muenster Memorial Hospital and Red River Regional Hospital in Bonham.

“Sometimes neighborhood blood centers get into a crunch and will ask us to donate blood to them,” said Braddock. “When the shooting in Colorado happened, they put us all on standby in case they needed more blood.”

Braddock also said that the summertime is when they receive the fewest donations.

“During the summer, people are on vacation and it is hot outside,” she said. “People do not want to get out and donate so we generally have a shortage around the end of the summer. There is also increased travelling and increased wrecks. Some people choose to have elective surgery during the summer. That is why we like to do things like this.”

Morehead said that local high school students are the biggest donors so when school starts they will start coming around more.

“Before going into the summer, we finish up our red cord program,” said Braddock. “Any senior who has given blood twice this school year gets a red cord to wear at graduation. In May, lots of seniors are finishing up their requirements so we generally have an overstock around that time.”

At the beginning of the month, the blood center was lacking type A-positive blood. Morehead said that because of the blood drive and a recent benefit drive held in Bonham, the blood center now has a surplus of blood, but that could change by the end of the week.