Westfield police and fire want your blood

Next Thursday, March 30, is the fifth annual Fire Vs. Police Blood Donor Challenge

The plaques on the trophy presented to the winner of each year’s blood donor event

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) —The city’s police and fire departments are getting set to face off—but for a good cause.

Next Thursday, March 30, is the fifth annual Fire Vs. Police Blood Donor Challenge at Baystate Noble Hospital. Each year, the two departments try and gather the most blood that they can from donors, with the winner taking home a trophy with their department placed on it.

For the first two years, Westfield Police were able to take the trophy home but over the past two years Westfield Fire has been holding onto the trophy.

“This is a really good way for the community to come together for blood collection, which is at its low point this time of year,” Mary Regan, Westfield Fire Chief, said.

The competition used to work solely by the staffs at each department donating blood but has grown to feature family members and friends, as well as the public. In fact, according to Amy Benson, blood donor program recruiter at Baystate, it has grown to include the entire community.

Fire Capt. Rebecca Boutin jokes with Police Officer Kerry Paton during a past Guns and Hoses ‘Blood Wars’ competition. (WNG file photo)

“It’s a great event because it brings the hospital, Baystate Noble, and the community together,” Benson said. “And everyone wants to raise for their team.”

Regan also said that the competition is always close and that regardless of who comes out on top, it’s the community who wins.

“The main thing is there’s no losers,” she said. “The hospital wins by beefing up their blood supply.”

Benson added that each donation helps, potentially saving two lives with each one.

And in addition to the friendly competition, there will also be gift cards from either Big Y or Dunkin Donuts that will be given to eligible donors, as well as a raffle for tickets to see the Springfield Thunderbirds.

The event will take place at the Blood Donor Center at Baystate Noble on West Silver Street, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome but you can also call ahead to schedule an appointment, as well.

Copyright 2017 The Westfield News