Law enforcement officers roll up sleeves and save lives

Law enforcement officers roll up sleeves and save lives
(Source: KAIT-TV)

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The 2nd annual blood drive took place at the Craighead County Sheriff's Department on Friday.

Keith Bowers with the Craighead County Detention Center said they feel the blood drive is an opportunity to give back in another way.

"We try to be a full public service facility," Bowers said. "And so, we feel like giving back to the community with a blood drive is just all part of being a part of the public service. And we had good participation today."

Joe Zydlo with the American Red Cross said the need for blood is constant.

"Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood," Zydlo said. "Nationwide, the Red Cross needs to collect 13,000 donations daily."

Bowers said they know firsthand the need for blood because they've seen it.

"We see a lot of injury in our profession," Bowers said. "A lot of times it's our own officers and jailers who get injured. A lot of times it's inmates that come in the back door that have been in accidents or had some other incident happen where they're losing blood. So, it's not just for the officers. It's for everybody involved. And there's a great need for blood just about always."

Bowers said it's not just the members of the Craighead County Sheriff's Office and Detention Center they're thinking of.

They want to help the community they work in.

"Everybody is going to be subject at one time or another of possibly needing blood," Bowers said. "And so, our deputies are for sure at risk at any time of needing blood at the hospital. So, we would just like to ensure that all of our people are able to get blood when they need it. And so, we just encourage all volunteers to donate blood for this purpose."

The reason the need is constant due to blood not lasting forever.

"Blood is perishable," Zydlo said. "Whole blood has a 42-day shelf life. Platelets have only five days."

Bowers said everyone should look out for one another.

"In our region, we have great people here," Bowers said. "We have great neighbors. And it's just important to take care of everybody. And that's something that you don't really think of that you might be doing if you give blood. You don't know that you're helping your neighbors out that might need that blood. It's the same as donating food or labor to them. It's something that could be very well needed. And it could be your own family that needs it."

Bowers said they plan on bringing the blood drive back next year.

"We've only had this drive for two years," Bowers said. "But the second year had a better turn out than the first and there's no reason to think it won't be even better than that next year. So, we absolutely will continue to have our blood drive."

For more information about the Craighead County Sheriff's Department, click here.

For information about the American Red Cross, click here.

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