SITTING BACK: Wahoo Police Chief Bruce Ferrell relaxes as he donates blood at the blood drive last Wednesday to help the law enforcement team win against the fire department. (Staff Photo by Clayton Karloff)

WAHOO – Patients needing blood will benefit from last week’s blood drive in Wahoo, but there was no clear winner for bragging rights in a competition among several local agencies.

The friendly competition between the Wahoo Police Department/Saunders County Sheriff’s Office and Wahoo Fire/Rescue departments ended in a tie.

Twenty-two units of blood were donated Dec. 19 in the name of the two law enforcement agencies and 22 units of blood were donated in the name of the fire and rescue departments.

Wahoo Fire and Rescue has already promised a rematch on its Facebook page.

The competition at last Wednesday’s Wahoo Blood Drive was a first.

Wahoo Police Chief Bruce Ferrell said the competition was to see which department could get the most blood donations. Department members were asked to donate and anyone else donating could also sign up for their blood donation to count towards one of the groups.

Ferrell said the goal of the competition was to get more participation in blood donations from first responders.

“It’s a way to get more community awareness about the blood drive and to give back to the community,” Ferrell said.

Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz said he thought there was a good response. He said advertisement for the compeition through Facebook, flyers in the office and sending information to all employees.

He said he was glad to see so many people in all departments taking part.

“It’s for a good cause and there are long term benefits to some good will competition,” Stukenholtz said.

Wahoo Bloodmobile Coordinator Karen Boop considered the competition a success.

“It got new people to come in to give blood. I was surprised we had so many people interested and coming in,” Boop said.

She said when Ferrell approached her with this idea, she was quick to agree to it.

At the end of the day, last week’s blood drive surpassed its goal.

Boop said 88 units were donated. The goal was 85.

She said this amount would help at least 264 people in need of blood.

Boop said with the success of this “competitive” blood drive, she and the other volunteers are hoping to do another one this coming summer, possibly in June or August, once again featuring local law enforcement versus fire department.

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