NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — Did you know that only 38% of the population can give blood, but less than 10% do?

The Bismarck Battle of the Badges Blood Drive works to host a friendly competition, with the goal of getting more people to roll up their sleeves.

This week marks the 16th annual Vitalant Bismarck Battle of the Badges Blood Drive.

Vitalant statistics report that someone needs blood every two seconds.

“We specifically do this event because Labor Day weekend is one of the most needed times for blood transfusions. Vitalent had contacted us years ago and asked if we could do it right after Labor Day. The reason we do the law versus fire, is it kind of gives us a friendly competition between the firefighters to try to get as many people to see who likes which team better and donates,” said Bismarck’s Community Engagement Officer, Caitlyn Horne.

And the event at the Kirkwood Mall is the biggest blood drive in Bismarck.

Technicians tell KX News if every donor could donate once a year, the blood supply would be replenished.

Currently, they are relying on double donations for A positive and B positive just to replenish our blood supply.

One donation has the potential to save about three lives, and the largest consumer of blood products is cancer patients.

“So right now, we are in an emergency shortage of all the blood, but specifically type O blood. It is used in trauma patients mostly,” said Officer Horne.

Technicians say it is important for people to see the need. Even if you don’t like needles, they do their best to make the process easy and comfortable.

The competition even has snacks on hand, such as brats, chips, and drinks.

“Usually, we see 200 to 300 donors for the three days. Unfortunately, we have not gotten up to pre-pandemic standards this is actually one of our smaller Battle of the Badges. We are critically low, so this is going to replenish a lot of our blood supply,” said Donor Care Team Leader, Kristen Nelson.

Retired Bismarck Fire Marshal Ron Kunda says your blood can help more people than you even realize.

“In terms of fire and EMS, they use plasma for fluid replacements. They use the platelets for blood clotting, and they use the blood for general replacement of blood that may have been lost because of an accident,” says Kunda.

It is not too late to help save a life, the competition will resume on September 8 for the last day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Here in North Dakota, exactly 250 blood donors are needed per day to help patients in need.