Local fire, law enforcement and emergency medical services personnel are teaming with the American Red Cross for the 22nd annual Battle of the Badges blood drive to see who can recruit the most eligible donors in the community to donate blood.
Individuals can join the Battle of the Badges blood drive by donating Monday, Dec. 12, to Saturday, Dec. 31, at the Red Cross Wichita Blood Donation Center, 707 N. Main. Donors’ blood and platelet donations will help decide who wins bragging rights and a trophy.
Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition to encourage community members to join their local first responders and perform their own heroic act with a blood or platelet donation. All who come out to donate during the blood drive will get to cast a vote to help decide the winner.
Through the first 21 years of the event, nearly 25,000 blood donations have been collected.
“EMS, fire and law enforcement units know firsthand how important it is to have blood readily available for emergencies,” said Norma Dixon, local market manager for the Central Plains Blood Services Region. “By hosting this blood drive, they are helping ensure that blood is on the shelves before it is needed.”
All those who come to donate during Battle of the Badges will receive a commemorative Battle of the Badges T-shirt, while supplies last.
The Red Cross urges eligible donors to give the perfect gift this holiday season – a lifesaving blood or platelet donation. By rolling up a sleeve, donors can help ensure patients continue to receive treatment throughout the holiday season.
Busy holiday schedules and travel plans make it more challenging for regular donors to give, and many businesses and organizations postpone hosting blood drives during the holiday season for these same reasons. This can lead to a decline in blood donations, but the need is constant.
To make an appointment for the 2016 Battle of the Badges, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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.