Firefighters beat Police in First Annual 'Cuffs & Hoses Blood Dr - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Firefighters beat Police in First Annual 'Cuffs & Hoses Blood Drive'

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - LifeShare Blood Center officials say they’re always in need of blood, especially during the summer months when donations are typically low and usage, high.

It means they’re constantly looking for creative ways to host blood drives. Wednesday, they decided to incite a little friendly competition.

"We're hoping that we're going to win and I'm confident our guys will pull through," said Deputy Chief Mark Kraus with the Lake Charles Police Department.

"Oh come on now, the firemen have got this," fired back Chief Training Officer Kenneth Brown with the Lake Charles Fire Department.

Wednesday was the First Annual ‘Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive’ and LifeShare Blood Center officials say it's been largely successful.

“We've had a great response from Lake Charles Fire Department and also Lake Charles Police Department,” said Michael Lanham, a spokesperson for LifeShare.

While there is some friendly competition involved, ultimately it's for a good cause.

“We're doing it for our patients. For those that can’t help themselves. Blood donation is the easiest way to help those that can't help themselves,” added Lanham.

It was Shellbi Buller's first time donating. She was on team firefighters.

“My grandfather is a firefighter in Sulphur. His name is Randy Buller. He's been a firefighter for a really long time now, so I decided it'd be a nice thing to come out and do,” explained Buller.

Buller, like others donating Wednesday, knows firsthand the importance of giving blood.

“My little brother had cancer and he had a lot of blood transfusions and things like that, so I always think it's a good thing to just come give blood,” said Buller.

“It benefited a family member of mine that was in a hospital for 30 days or so and without some of those lifesaving measures we would have lost that family member and it would have been tragic for us,” said Kraus.

Brown added, “Firefighters in the past needed blood transfusions, had diseases, or family members have had illnesses and needed it. And we see it on a daily basis. So we felt this is one of our ways to help the community and give back to the community.”

Even Chief Don Dixon took his turn donating for team police.

By the end of the competition, he was among more than 100 others who gave blood.

“Thank God for the people that work in this facility and that they try to get everybody to donate blood,” said Kraus.

While everyone is a winner for donating, there could only be one official team winner. The title this year goes to the Lake Charles firefighters who beat the Lake Charles Police Department 57 to 51.

Blood donation site information: http://www.lifeshare.org/donate/donation-centers

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