Bristol and Warren Fire Departments battle for blood

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The third annual Bristol and Warren Fire Departments blood donation challenge, a friendly competition, promises to bring hope to several Rhode Islanders and their families.

Over the first two years, the challenge has resulted in 158 pints of blood collected, helping 474 individuals and their families.

Bristol and Warren Fire Departments are holding blood drives on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the Training Room at the Bristol Fire Department, Annawamscutt Drive; and on the donor coach at the Warren Fire Department, 1 Joyce St. in Warren.

Last year, the two fire departments combined for 71 donations, potentially saving the lives of nearly 213 individuals, and in the first year of the competition combined for 87 collections, potentially helping 261 individuals.

Since three distinct products are made from each blood donation – plasma, platelets and red cells – each donation has the potential to help save three lives.

Representatives from both departments said friendly competition between the two departments has gone on for more than four decades, from who can put on the best clambake to sports competitions.

But both agree the real winners on Oct. 5 will be the blood recipients whose lives will be saved as a result of blood donations.

Fire departments statewide have become increasing active in hosting blood drives, understanding firsthand the need, and helping the Rhode Island Blood Center collect the 280 pints of blood each day to meet the needs of those hospitalized within the community.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.