MIAMI – You can show your support for local first responders by giving blood with the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) at the sixth annual Ottawa County Boots & Badges blood drive on Tuesday, Aug. 6 and Wednesday, Aug. 7.

By giving blood at this two-day drive, donors can show their support for the firefighters, emergency medical services responders and law enforcement officers who protect our community.

If you are 16 years of age or older, you can stop by the Miami Civic Center Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. or Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It should be noted that 16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, and 18+-year-olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

All donors will receive a special-edition Boots & Badges t-shirt and their choice of one entry to Frontier City, one entry to the Science Museum Oklahoma, or two entries to Safari Joe’s H2O waterpark. Hot dogs will be available courtesy of the Miami Walmart.

Donors will also be entered for a chance to win one of five pairs of Dokken tickets for Saturday, Aug. 10, courtesy of the Buffalo Run Casino & Resort. Dokken is an American metal band formed in 1979 that has had many chart topping singles like “Alone Again,” “In My Dreams,” and “Burning Like a Flame,” and have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide.

“We’re pleased to partner again with the Oklahoma Blood Institute on our Boots and Badges Blood Drive Challenge,” said Chief Thomas Andersen of the Miami Police Department.

“Miami is such a giving community with making sure we have blood available for local patients, including those treated at our own Integris Miami Hospital. We are aiming for 120 donations this year,” he said. “While I hope the police department takes the win again, we know it’s the blood recipients who are the real winners.”

While all blood types are needed, donors with O-negative blood are particularly urged to give. That is because only seven percent of the population has that blood type yet it is the “universal type,” so if a patient’s type is not known it can be used in an emergency.

Walk-ins are always welcome, but appointments for the blood drive may be made by calling 877-340-8777 or by visiting www.obi.org

The OBI is the local non-profit, blood bank that provides blood products to 90% of the state’s medical facilities.