KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- From his brothers in the line of duty, to strangers that know nothing more than his name, the community is stepping in to do their part for Knoxville Police Officer Norman Rickman, 45, in a simple, but life-saving way. They're giving blood.
Before Medic coul open their doors Wednesday, they had messages waiting from donors with question like Julie Norwood’s, “What time I could get here to donate."
People wanted to know how soon they could give a little to the officer who risked a lot.
Julie says, If there is anything he or his family needs, this is the least I could do.
A usually mostly-empty room was full.
Medic spokesperson Christi Fightmaster says, "This has been an amazing outpouring of true volunteer spirit."
There were 11 donors in just the first two hours medic was open. Most of them were complete strangers.
Donor Mary Wilson says, "It's rewarding, and the idea of it sticks in your mind that you can be part of the solution."
But for others, sitting in this chair holds a deeper meaning.
"…Doing what I can for another officer."
Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Sexton gave blood for one of his own.
Sexton says, "It's one of those things we can do for each other when we leave the scene."
They’re different relationships, but their reasons are the same: Giving life for someone who almost gave his own.
Fightmaster says, "The police do so much to keep us safe and out of harms way, and this is one small thing they can do to give back.”
If you would like to give blood in honor of Officer Rickman, there will be a blood drive at the Knoxville Police Public Safety Building from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday, May 22.
If you can’t make it, visit MedicBlood.com for information on other opportunities to donate.