FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Nov. 9, 2020) — The 26th annual Battle of the Badges competition returns to Fort Wayne this December and the community is invited to give with meaning this holiday season with local police, fire and EMS personnel by giving blood with the American Red Cross from December 16 to 21.
Battle of the Badges is the longest-running local blood donation competition in Fort Wayne, with a goal this year of collecting 300 blood and platelet donations at two Red Cross locations, the Fort Wayne Red Cross Blood Donation Center and the Lutheran Hospital Red Cross Blood Donation Center. When you come to give blood during the campaign you can vote for either police/highway patrol or firefighters/EMS to win the competition. Participants will also receive a Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt and a coupon from Pizza Hut, while supplies last.
This good-natured rivalry among first responder groups helps ensure the blood supply keeps pace with demand during the holidays. Groups participating this year include: Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Fort Wayne Fire Department and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority. Battle of the Badges is also supported by ABC21 WPTA, Adams Radio Group of Fort Wayne and Pizza Hut.
KICK OFF EVENT:
The campaign will kick off with a special event Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 6 a.m. with representatives from local police and fire organizations giving blood at the Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center. The community is invited to join them.
The winter holiday season is one of the most challenging periods of the year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood and platelet donations. Busy schedules and inclement weather often mean fewer blood donations. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused challenges with finding available blood drive locations. However, the need for blood is constant. Every day, regardless of the season, hospital patients need blood or platelets for cancer treatments, lifesaving surgeries, or emergency care related to accidents or trauma.
To make an appointment to donate, contact the Red Cross at RedCrossBlood.org, 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
Battle of the Badges donation locations and hours:
Fort Wayne Donation Center
1212 E. California Road in Fort Wayne, (across from the Memorial Coliseum)
Wednesday 12/16: 7am-7pm
Thursday 12/17: 11am-7pm
Friday 12/18: 6:30am-3pm
Saturday 12/19: 6:30am-3pm
Sunday 12/20: 6:30am-3pm
Monday 12/21: 11:30am-7pm
Lutheran Hospital Donation Center
7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 107 in Fort Wayne (in the South Lobby of Lutheran Hospital)
Wednesday 12/16: Closed
Thursday 12/17: 6am-1:30pm
Friday 12/18: 6am-1:30pm
Saturday 12/19: 6am-1:30pm
Sunday 12/20: 6am-1:30pm
Monday 12/21: 12pm-7:30pm
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
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 help 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.