Those who give at the Boots & Badges blood drive on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 7-8, provide blood needed to save local lives.

MIAMI - Ottawa County’s first responders are looking for citizens to support their efforts through blood donation with Oklahoma Blood Institute. Those who give at the Boots & Badges blood drive on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 7-8, provide blood needed to save local lives, such as those that firefighters and law enforcement officers rescue.

Anyone 16 years or older* is urged to stop by the Miami Civic Center Aug. 7 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. or Aug. 8 between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. All donors will receive a special-edition Boots & Badges T-shirt and a voucher for two free admissions to Safari Joe’s H20 Water and Adventure Park.

Donors will also take part in a little friendly competition by designating their donations to either the fire department or law enforcement as each department strives to top the other with the most blood donations.

Although all blood types are needed, donors with O-negative blood are particularly urged to give. Only seven percent of the population has this blood type, but it is the ‘universal type’ and can be used in an emergency when a patient’s blood type is not known.

“Ottawa County first responders see the daily need for blood first-hand when the people they rescue require life-saving treatment,” said Jan Laub, OBI Executive Director, Tulsa. “We can’t say enough about the service our police officers and firefighters provide, and we owe it to them to do our part in making sure blood is available in emergency situations.”

Appointments for the blood drive may be made by calling 877-340-8777 or visiting https://www.obi.org.

* 16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, and those 18+ must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate.