They were out for blood

Published 12:35 pm Thursday, April 5, 2018

In a large space of the second floor of Johns Memorial Episcopal Church, a half-dozen gurneys sat like a circling of covered wagons. About every 30 minutes a new patient would arrive and take his or her place on one of the makeshift hospital beds.

Friday, March 30, marked the eighth time the Farmville Fire Department and Farmville Police Department have squared off for some friendly competition to see which organization could generate the most donations of blood. Each year the department that collects the most blood is awarded the “Heartland Heroes Blood Drive” trophy provided by the American Red Cross. Going into the March 30 event, the firefighters owned bragging rights from the 2017 blood drive.

“The competition is fun, and we have a good time,” said Chris Moss, a lieutenant with the Farmville Police Department and one of the organizers of the event. As donors arrived, they chose one of two ballots. One gives the police department credit, the other favors the firefighters. At the end of the day, the team with the most ballots wins and takes the trophy home.

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Jessica Blevins Cambridge, like many of the blood donors gathered in Johns Memorial Episcopal Church, is a regular donor. “I’m a nurse,” said Cambridge. “I spend a lot of time at work providing other people with blood. I donate every two months. It’s a life-saving donation.”

By the end of the day, some 62 pints of blood were collected. That’s enough for five people to have their entire blood supply completely changed.

As for the competition, Moss gets to take the trophy back to the Farmville Police station. Some 38 pints were credited to the police, enough to claim victory… until next year.