The Community Blood Center (CBC) is sponsoring “Battle for Blood” drives, a competition among 20 community police and fire departments, according to a news release.

The competition takes place April through June. The Ottawa blood drive is set for noon to 6 p.m. May 2 noon to 6 p.m. at Ransom Memorial Health, 1301 S. Main St., Ottawa. Visit savealifenow.org and use the sponsor code “ottawa” to make an appointment online, according to the release.

“Local firefighters and police officers are considered absolutely integral to the safety of our community — something we never take for granted,” David Graham, executive director of Community Blood Center, said in the release. “The Community Blood Center donor family is similar to police and fire department members. We make up a lifesaving team that is here to meet the needs of local patients. Our volunteer donors roll up their sleeves and do so without hesitation.”

The center requires about 580 donors each weekday to meet area hospital demand, the release said. An urgent need exists for type “O” blood, but all blood types are needed to help cancer patients, new mothers and emergency victims who require blood transfusions, the release said.

About one in seven hospital admissions requires a blood transfusion and with a limited shelf life, supplies must be continually replenished, the CBC said.

CBC provides nearly 200,000 blood products per year to over 60 area hospitals — which includes RMH — and relies on donors to meet the need, the release said.