Bucket brigade

Bucket brigade—Participating fire departments along with Vitalant Staff celebrate at Charlie’s Restaurant in Windsor on Feb. 25. Hook-and-ladder fire truck provided by the Windsor station of the Sonoma County Fire District. Photo provided

Vitalant (formerly Blood Centers of the Pacific) in coordination with 21 fire departments across Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties is proud to announce the results of the 14th annual Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge. This annual blood drive event runs every December through the end of January the following year.

The Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge is a friendly competition among participating fire departments to see which department can host the largest blood drive by enlisting fire fighters, friends, family and members of the community to donate lifesaving blood during the holiday season.

In this year’s competition, Windsor Fire Department took home the coveted Bucket Trophy with 99 participants, followed by Healdsburg Fire in second place with 73 and then Rohnert Park Fire in third place with 68. Overall, the Bucket Brigade resulted in a grand total of 930 life-transforming units of blood.

According to a statement from Vitalant, the winter and holiday season is always a challenging time for blood collections due to rainy weather, busy holiday schedules, vacation and flu season. Everyday emergencies as well as novel health issues that we see and read about serve as a reminder of the importance of keeping an adequate blood supply – both locally and nationally.

Since 2006, fire departments participating in the Bucket Brigade Blood Drive Challenge have recruited more than 10,000 participants who donated thousands of units of blood for patients in Northern California hospitals.

Participating departments were fêted at Charlie’s Restaurant in Windsor, and the top placings announced, on Feb. 25.

-Submitted by Kent Corley, Vitalant

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