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Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio

MOUNT GILEAD – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is teaming up with the American Red Cross, police officers and firefighters this July for the 22nd annual Guns-N-Hoses campaign in Central Ohio. In the spirit of saving lives, troopers will give blood themselves, and they encourage the public to join them in a friendly competition to see which group can donate the most – police or fire.

Motor vehicle crashes and traumatic injuries increase during the summer months and the need for blood donations often exceeds the supply. Each American Red Cross blood drive during the summer sees about two fewer donors. This comes at a time when donations are critical, resulting in as much as 100,000 fewer donations compared to other months, according to the American Red Cross.

Troopers, as law enforcement officers and first responders see first-hand what the gift of donating blood can do for those affected in traffic crashes and other emergency situations. More than 12,000 pints of blood are expected to be donated during Guns-N-Hoses, and more than 1,200 pints come from fire and police officers alone. The rest are from those who support everyday heroes and want to save lives. The Red Cross and the Ohio State Highway Patrol encourage you to help make this campaign a success, and to give someone the gift of life this summer.

“Guns-N-Hoses may be a competition between police and fire, but in the end, the patients who benefit from these blood donations are the ones who really win,” said Lt. G. S. Grewal, Commander of the Mount Gilead Post. “The Patrol is grateful for this opportunity to support the Red Cross and help save lives.”

“First responders help keep our community safe every day,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager of the Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region. “When you come to donate blood this July, you can support them and help patients in need.”

To schedule an appointment to give, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Those who donate blood during the Guns-N-Hoses campaign can receive gifts and prizes, including:

- Columbus Zoo and Aquarium buy one get one free entry coupon

- Enter to win a weekly drawing for four passes to Zoombezi Bay

- Voucher to purchase deeply discounted tickets to any Cedar Fair park, including Cedar Point or Kings Island

- Voucher for $5 off coupon for Roosters

The annual Guns-N-Hoses campaign began in 1996 as a friendly competition between firefighters and police officers to see who could bring in the most blood donations. This campaign is scheduled during the critical summer trauma season when the demand for blood often exceeds the supply.

Counties participating in this year’s campaign include: Athens, Champaign, Coshocton, Crawford, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Guernsey, Hardin, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pickaway, Richland, Ross, Tuscarawas, Union and Vinton.

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