Rapid City Police and Fire to compete in 15th annual “Guns n’ Hoses” Blood Drive

Lifesavers in uniform will team up to transform lives at Rapid City’s largest annual blood drive  

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Vitalant blood bank is inviting the community to join in this year’s kickoff event for the Guns n’ Hoses blood drive, where Rapid City Police and Fire departments will go head-to-head in the traditional tug of war competition outside Rushmore Mall.

The blood drive will start inside the mall immediately following the event.

  • WHO: Rapid City Police Department (RCPD), Rapid City Fire Department (RCFD)
  • WHAT: Tug of War competition. Representatives of RCPD, RCFD and Vitalant will be available for interview.
  • WHEN: Tuesday, June 23, 9:30 a.m.
  • WHERE: Rushmore Mall parking lot near Texas Roadhouse, 2200 N. Maple Ave., Rapid City
  • WHY:  To generate a friendly competitive spirit between the Rapid City fire and police departments, and to encourage community members to give blood during a time of critical need at the “Guns n’ Hoses” blood drive June 23 – 26. Donors will make their donation in honor of Team Law or Team Fire in a friendly competition for bragging rights.

The real test however, is who can recruit the most blood donors to visit the four-day blood drive to help ensure every patient need can continue to be met during the summer months. That’s why Vitalant is encouraging donors to team up to save lives and show their community support for patients in need.

In 2019, Rapid City Police won the competition by 78 donors, tying up the series 7-7. Team Fire won the tug of war the last two years in a row.

Regardless of who wins bragging rights this year, the entire community wins by teaming up together to save lives. In all, participants gave 785 donations during last year’s drive.

The “Guns n’ Hoses” four-day blood drive runs inside the mall near Buckle:

  • Tuesday – Thursday, June 23 – 25: 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, June 26: 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

All donors will receive a free “Guns and Hoses” T-shirt, and can enjoy free food and refreshments, while supplies last.

With elective surgeries in full swing and more people venturing out across the country, demand for blood for hospital patients has increased by 25%. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for blood has continued for childbirth, cancer treatments, essential medical procedures, and everyday emergencies.

For an appointment call (605) 646-2625 or visit bloodhero.com and enter the sponsor code: gunsnhosesrc. At this time, all donors and staff are required to wear a face covering. Appointments are preferred, walk-ins permitted.

Vitalant is also testing blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The antibody test—authorized by the Food and Drug Administration—will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms. Learn more at vitalant.org/antibodytest.

Categories: Local News