SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Friday marks the 27th annual Heroes Behind the Badges blood drive in Sioux Falls.

The event will pit the Sioux Falls Police Department against Sioux Falls Fire Rescue to see who can recruit the most blood donors for the community blood supply before January 7.

This year’s event is especially important as the Community Blood Bank, like most of the country, is experiencing a shortage.

“The holidays are upon us and we are experiencing some of the highest blood usage in our community within the last 5 years. The demand continues to outpace blood collections,” Ken Versteeg, executive director for the Community Blood Bank said. “Throughout the United States, Community Blood Bank is experiencing a severe shortage. We need volunteers to come out and give blood with Community Blood Bank to bring local supplies up.”

Donors must be at least 17-years-old, 16 with a parent’s consent, weigh 110 lbs. and be in good health. You must also bring an ID.

To schedule an appointment to donate just visit www.cbblifeblood.com or call 605-331-3222. Walk-ins are also welcome.