Friday, Jul 9, 2021

Marsh Regional Blood Center encourages friendly competition with Fire Station Showdown blood drives

Marsh Regional Blood Center is encouraging friendly competition among the Sullivan County Volunteer Fire Department stations with a series of Fire Station Showdown blood drives.

From July 10 - Aug. 21, volunteer fire stations in Sullivan County will host public blood drives. The station that collects the most units of blood will claim a traveling trophy – and bragging rights.

The blood drives are held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. and open to the public. Appointments are not required, and all donors will receive a complimentary T-shirt and snack.

Drives will be held:

Saturday, July 10

Sullivan West Fire Department
113 Rosemont St., Kingsport

Bluff City Fire Department
4256 Bluff City Highway, Bluff City

Saturday, July 17

Warriors Path Fire Department
1908 Moreland Drive, Kingsport

Piney Flats Fire Department
125 Industrial Park, Piney Flats

Saturday, July 31

Bloomingdale Fire Department
3017 N. John B. Dennis Highway, Kingsport

East Fire Department
3287 Weaver Pike, Bristol

Saturday, Aug. 14

Sullivan County Fire Department
1670 Blountville Blvd., Blountville

421 Fire Department
1758 Bristol Caverns Highway, Bristol

Saturday, Aug. 21

Avoca Fire Department
183 Beaver Creek Road, Bluff City

Hickory Tree Fire Department
2363 Hickory Tree Road, Bluff City

If blood donors are unable to attend one of the blood drives, but would like to make a donation to credit the station of their choice, they’re encouraged to make an appointment at any of Marsh Regional’s donation centers and notify team members their donation is part of the Fire Station Showdown. 

The region’s crucial need for blood supply is reflected in a nationwide blood shortage. A lag in donations with an increasing demand for blood leaves national inventories alarmingly depleted.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives, and blood donation centers always take steps to prevent team members and donors who are not feeling well or who have a fever from reaching the donor area.

Additionally, donors are required to wear a cloth face covering, such as homemade mask, bandana or buff at all times in collection centers or mobile units. Donors may be asked to wait outside the unit as units abide by a capacity limit to promote social distancing.

As many as three lives can be saved with one blood donation – and blood donations received through Marsh Regional stay in the Appalachian Highlands to help local patients. Marsh Regional supplies blood to 28 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer centers and five air rescue bases in Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

Marsh Regional’s blood supply remains at critical levels for all blood types, driving an urgent need for blood and blood product donations in the Appalachian Highlands. Products such as platelets and convalescent plasma aren’t collected on mobile units, but donors can make an appointment at any Marsh Regional blood donation center at a later date.

To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. People with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or those who are taking antibiotics are not eligible to donate. Donors should eat a well-balanced meal before giving blood.

Those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine should wait at least 48 hours after each dose before making a blood, platelet or plasma donation, and those who are recovering from COVID-19 should wait at least two weeks after COVID-19 symptoms resolve before donating.

For those who are unable to come to the Fire Station Showdown blood drives, Marsh Regional accepts appointments at any of its three locations in Bristol, Kingsport and Johnson City. Appointments can be made by calling 423-408-7500, 423-652-0014 or 423-282-7090. Same-day blood donation appointments are frequently available. For more information visit Marsh Regional Blood Center.

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