COLUMBUS, Ohio – Central Ohio law enforcement and firefighters will team up with the American Red Cross this July for the 25th annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive to increase the number of blood donations made during summer, when the supply often declines.
Firefighters, police officers, State Highway Patrol and other first responders are often aware of the need for blood when responding to emergencies. In the spirit of saving lives, they have joined forces to give blood and to encourage the public to join them in a friendly competition to see which group can recruit the most donations – law enforcement or firefighters. You can go to any Red Cross blood drive in Central Ohio between June 24 and July 31 to give blood and vote for either firefighters/EMT or law enforcement. In the end, the patients who benefit from the available blood products are the real winners.
In 2019, the law enforcement group won the competition for the second time in its 24-year history, beating the firefighters by just 101 donations. This year either group has a strong chance to win.
Those who come to donate blood during Battle of the Badges can receive gifts and prizes, including:
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium buy one get one free entry coupon.
Enter to win a weekly drawing for four passes to Zoombezi Bay.
Select Battle of the Badges blood drives will also have campaign T-shirts and coupons from Roosters, while supplies last. (See blood drive list below.)
We are grateful to the many first responders who will donate blood during this year’s campaign,” said Rodney Wilson, communications manager of the Red Cross Central Ohio Blood Services Region. “We hope the community will join them in helping save lives by giving blood.”
The annual Battle of the Badges campaign began in 1996 as a friendly competition between firefighters and police officers to see who could bring in the most blood donations. This campaign is scheduled during the critical summer trauma season when the demand for blood often exceeds the supply.
Members of key law enforcement and firefighters’ organizations are expected to donate more than 1,500 pints of blood in July, including members from Local 67 and local fire departments of the International Association of Firefighters, the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Franklin County Sheriffs Office and the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association. Local support from media includes WSYX ABC 6, WTTE FOX 28 and Qfm96 96.3 FM. You can view the campaign PSA online here.
The Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. Donors who help support the urgent need by giving at this drive will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org.
Individuals can go to any Central Ohio Red Cross blood drive to cast their vote during Battle of the Badges from June 24 through July 31, 2020.
These select Battle of the Badges blood drives listed below will provide campaign T-shirts and Roosters coupons, while supplies last:
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, schedule online, call 1-800-RED CROSS or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.