Up to 69 people will receive the gift of life as a result of blood collected through a UT Police Department blood drive.
UTPD commissioned and civilian staff as well as staff from UT Public Safety on July 13 took part in the Remembering the Badges blood drive. The partnership with American Red Cross of Tennessee commemorates the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
The goal across the state is to collect the number of pints of blood equal to the number of innocent lives lost as a way to honor those who died on that tragic day. The UTPD drive also helps address the blood shortage in the state and across the country.
During the blood drive, the Red Cross collected 23 pints, which will help up to 69 seriously ill and critically injured patients. Every pint helps up to three patients, said Andrea Frondorf of the American Red Cross of Tennessee.
UTPD is one of four area law enforcement agencies participating in the Remembering the Badges drive this summer. The others are the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Rural Metro Fire, and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.
The gift of blood donation hits close to home for UTPD Officer Rozzie Bomar.
“A couple of years ago my mom got really sick and needed several pints of blood transfused,” she said. “Had it not been for donors who selflessly gave, she would not be here today.”
The experience opened her eyes to the impact of giving blood, she said, adding that “you may think you’re just one person but you’re changing the lives of others.”
For UTPD Lieutenant Dale Wolf, donating blood was a way to say ‘thank you’ to the UT and greater community.
“We have such a great community and they always support us so well,” he said. “The everyday interactions with the community makes you want to do what you can to try to go above and beyond for them.”