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Heroes Behind The Badges

December 27, 2011, 6:09 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Heroes Behind The Badges
SIOUX FALLS, SD - People focus on giving during the holiday season, but fewer people roll up their sleeve to do that this time of year. That's why Sioux Falls City officials are encouraging people to donate blood through a friendly "Heroes Behind The Badges" competition.

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue and the Sioux Falls Police Department want you to give the gift of life-blood.

"There are a lot of accidents, and people need it just to stay alive every day," Robin Dannen said.

That includes Robin Dannen herself. She suffers from iron deficiency anemia and leukopenia. Dannen depends on blood donors to survive.

"It makes a difference whether I take care of my children or my children take care of me," Dannen said.

The Sioux Falls area needs 550 units of blood every week. But, during the holiday season, donations drop 20 percent. While it is a serious topic, emergency service officials are adding a fun twist to attract more donors.

"I'm sure it will heat up a little bit as we go on," Police Officer Bridget O'Toole said.

"Last year we lost by two, and I think if we would have had a recount, we probably would have won," Fire Division Chief Jeff Helm said.

While Fire Rescue and the Police Department can get pretty into the competition, even creating their own t-shirts, they say they have the same goal.

"As part of the community, both fire and police, we like to help when we can, and this is an area where obviously we're both close to when it comes to emergency scenes and those types of things where blood is needed," Helm said.

"So it's just a way for us to get people out to donate blood during a busy time of the year. Patients still need blood, accidents still happen, heart attacks still happen," O'Toole said.

And Dannen hopes you decide to donate.

"It's a good time of the year because a lot of people say I want to do something good for mankind. This is something you can do. It doesn't take very long, and it's a good thing," Dannen said.

If you would like to donate blood as part of the competition, stop by either the Sanford or Avera McKennan donor rooms. You can get a specially designed Police or Fire T-shirt for donating blood and a certificate for an appetizer at Texas Roadhouse. The competition runs until January 6th.

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