Rapid City police and fire department join forces

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The 14th annual Guns and Hoses blood drive is underway, with the Rapid City fire and police departments kicking off the week-long event at Rushmore Mall.

Rapid City fire and police department kick off annual blood drive

The police and fire department are going head to head in a friendly competition to encourage the community to donate blood.

Donors get to pick a team to support before they donate.

The process takes about an hour, and all the blood donated to patients goes to area hospitals.

The departments, along with Vitalant, have set a goal to collect a thousand units of blood by the end of the week.

"It's a way for the community to interact with the police and fire department in a different way. And it also is an opportunity for up to two to three thousand lives to be saved in just four days," says Vitalant donor recruitment manager, Brittany Sigel.

The blood drive goes until Friday, and both departments are encouraging the community to support the cause by donating blood with a friend.