Police, firefighters team up for Guns ‘N Hoses blood drive

Pine Bluff police and firefighters will team up Thursday, July 31, for a blood drive to support the Arkansas Blood Institute.

Called Guns ‘N Hoses, the drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Bob Woodall, a blood program consultant for ABI, said the company is the one that supplies 40 units of blood a week to Jefferson Regional Medical Center.

“That blood is coming from everywhere but Jefferson County,” he said.

Woodall described police and firefighters as “heroes” because of what they do in terms of saving lives.

“Every citizen can become a lifesaver because one unit of blood can save one to three lives,” he said, adding that the company hopes to collect between 50 and 60 units of blood during the drive.

“A lot of people might not realize that the largest group of donors are typically high school and college students but with schools out for the summer, we have to make up that supply,” he said.

In addition to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, ABI supplies blood to 21 hospitals across western and south-central Arkansas.

Fire and Emergency Services Chief Shauwn Howell said he became interested in getting involved when he learned that ABI supplied blood to the hospital.

“I think there’s enough community support in Pine Bluff to support another blood drive,” Howell said, adding that the fire department has in the past been involved in blood drives sponsored by the American Red Cross, particularly when Fire and Emergency Services Lt. David Curlin was injured and later died from injuries received while fighting a fire.

Woodall said both Howell and Police Chief Jeff Hubanks have encouraged their officers to participate, and those employees will encourage other people to participate in the drive.

“We can handle a donor every five minutes and process about 10 an hour,” he said.

Donors must be healthy and at least 16 years old and every donor will receive a Guns ‘N Hoses T-shirt, free health screenings and donor reward points.

Reservations are not required but for more information or to sign up, call 1-877-340-8777 or visit arkbi.org