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Abilene first responders roll up sleeves for annual blood drive, July 18-19

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Abilene first responders roll up sleeves for annual blood drive, July 18-19

The 12th Annual KRBC/KTAB Rodney Holder Memorial Blood Drive is scheduled for July 18 and 19 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. to benefit the Hendrick Regional Blood Center.

Donations for the event – nicknamed the Guns and Hoses blood drive – can be made at Hendrick Regional Blood Center, 1701 Pine St. or at the blood mobiles at the KRBC/KTAB Studios, 4510 S. 14th St.

The Abilene Police Department – the Guns – and the Abilene Fire Department – the Hoses – use the drive as a friendly competition to restock the blood center’s supplies at a time of year when donations historically are low nationwide. The blood center serves 19 hospitals in 14 counties.

“During the summertime we see fewer donations, but the need for blood for trauma patients, cancer treatments, surgeries and other medical issues is pressing year-round,” said Lauren Spindler, blood center marketing and business development manager.

The blood drive began in 2011 to honor long-time donor Rodney Holder, a police officer killed the previous year in a motorcycle crash while on duty.

In addition to the many police officers and firefighters and other first responders who donate during the drive, the general public is encouraged to give a pint for the Guns or for the Hoses. Donors will receive a pint of Blue Bell ice cream and a blue or red Guns and Hoses T-shirt.

During the 2022 Guns and Hoses drive, 413 total pints of blood were donated. The Hoses won with 226 pints to host the traveling trophy. The Guns and Hoses each have four wins since keeping track by group, making the 2023 event a tiebreaker for the trophy and bragging rights.

Donors must be at least 17 years old and meet other eligibility requirements. To learn more about donating blood, visit, follow Hendrick Regional Blood Center on Facebook or call 325-670-2798.