Greenwood fire department and law enforcement staffs are asking all area residents to come to the Guns ‘N Hoses blood drive with Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI), 12:30 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 22, at Greenwood Police Department. To fuel a little healthy competition, donors will choose which department to support by donating on behalf of law enforcement or the fire department.
Chief Stewart Bryan knows full well how much good blood donors can do. Ten years ago, he was in a car accident heading home from the mine he worked at. The accident left his pick-up upside down. His left leg was broken in half above the knee, his right hip was broken, he was scalped and had serious internal bleeding. Some of the first responders on the scene were classmates of his from Greenwood High School and did not even recognize him. It took emergency services from four different departments approximately 90 minutes to extricate him from the vehicle. The amount of blood Bryan lost was staggering and his survival was not guaranteed.
During the first 10 days in the hospital, he received numerous bags of blood. His three month recovery would not have been possible without blood from the Arkansas Blood Institute.
In 2007, when Stewart Bryan became Greenwood’s Fire Chief, he set about to make some changes. The biggest catalyst came from listening to an emergency call for an accident similar to the one he was in four years previous. This time, however, the only emergency services available to respond were the Police and Fire Departments and neither were effectively trained to handle a situation of that magnitude. The victim did not survive and Chief Stewart Bryan vowed to do everything he could to keep that from ever happening again.
He organized a group of firefighters to become trained EMTs and First Responders. He set up training schedules and organized with County emergency services to provide first responders where needed. Bryan also helped set up a policy where a Police officer responds with them to provide additional support. He helped organize the Guns & Hoses Blood Drive with the Arkansas Blood Institute to help keep blood available for those in need. He has put together a swift water rescue team and has worked toward building a Fire Department full of volunteers that is not only available, but extremely capable of helping keep Greenwood safe as well as helping other towns and counties when the need arises.
Not only will a blood donor save up to three lives with the good deed, each will be presented the official 2013 Guns ‘N Hoses T-shirt.
Anyone who is healthy and 16 years of age can donate (some restrictions apply), and donations can be made every 56 days.
Arkansas Blood Institute provides every drop of blood needed by patients in the 20 counties in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. For more information or to make an appointment, call Julie at 479-996-4119 or visit www.arkbi.org.