Interim Police Chief Turu VanderWiel will soon be washing Sonora City Fire Chief Aimee New’s SUV as a lighthearted punishment following the conclusion of the battle of the badges blood drive hosted at the American Red Cross Sonora Blood Donation Center.

The Fire Department had 50 pledged donors compared to the Police Department’s 40 over the course of the the week-long competition, which began on Sept. 26.

A total of 90 pints of blood were collected over the four operation days of the blood drive, which can assist in saving up to 270 lives, a Sonora Police Department news release said.

The blood drive was prompted by a national shortage in blood donations following multiple natural disasters throughout the United States in September.

Throughout the competition, several nurses and phlebotomists in deep rouge smocks administered venipunctures to draw blood from the volunteers. Patients and donors would lay prostrate on elevated, reclined medical chairs with tubes snaking to the slowly inflating blood bags.

Once blood is collected, it is sent to a national testing lab and identified with its specific blood-type before it’s cleared for use at area hospitals within the Western Division of California.

A hospital representative at Adventist Health Sonora manages the facility’s blood needs and corresponds with the Red Cross for various surgeries, emergency treatments and cancer patients.

A blood donation is standardized at 1 pint. The human body holds between 8 and 9 pints. A common scene after the donations are donors sipping water or juice and eating snacks to regain hydration and strength to help replenish blood in the body.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or gricapito@uniondemocrat.com . Follow him on Twitter @gsepinsonora.

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