LAWTON – Comanche County’s firefighters, law enforcement officers, and local officials recently joined forces to help save lives across southwest Oklahoma and parts of north Texas.
On Saturday, July 16, Oklahoma Blood Institute hosted its annual Boots & Badges Blood Drive at McMahon Memorial Auditorium in Elmer Thomas Park.
Narrowly missing the goal of 80 successful donations to reach the ‘Greater Good’ donation requirements, OBI Lawton Market Executive Director Christi Chambers was still pleased with the results, given the scorching high temps.
“It was a good day,” she said. “Seventy-nine donors gave, and we had 101 people sign in.”
Boots & Badges is just one of OBI’s measures to help stock up and save lives.
Currently the blood supply is reached a record-breaking low, not just in southwest Oklahoma, but nationwide, Chambers told Southwest Chronicle earlier this year.
“This is the lowest it’s been in 30 years. We would like to have 5-day supply on the shelves,” she said.
After taking home the traveling trophy last year, Lawton Fire Department had to hand it over to Comanche County law enforcement.
Teams of Comanche County’s first responders were present at the event. Comanche County Sheriff’s Office presented a tactical vehicle. Lawton Fire Department’s smokehouse (fire safety simulator) was also available to those who wanted to learn more on fire safety.
Lawton Police Chief James Smith, Fire Chief Jared Williams, Mayor Stan Booker, and Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dr. Krista Ratliff each volunteered to take a seat in the dunk tank. They were also joined by a few firefighters and policemen for some friendly competition between the departments.
“I’m surprised at how fragile the blood supply is,” Mayor Booker said in an earlier interview with Southwest Chronicle. “But it doesn’t surprise me one bit that our police and fire departments have stepped up with this competition to build up the blood supply.”
Expressing gratitude for their support of OBI’s mission, Chambers said, “We are so grateful for all the support from all the firefighters, police departments and all the volunteers who’ve stepped up.”
OBI is still accepting blood donations. Donors must be at least 16 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, in good health and have not donated blood in the past 56 days.
Donors must present a valid photo ID; those 16 years of age must bring a signed permission slip from a parent or legal guardian. While walk-ins are welcome, donors are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment.
The Lawton Donor Center, located at 211 SW A Avenue, is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Sundays by appointment only.
For more details or to schedule a donation, call (580) 353-6451, visit OBI.com or find Oklahoma Blood Institute-Lawton Center Blood Donors on Facebook.