NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 10, 2020) — The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and Nashville Fire Department are teaming up with the American Red Cross, Fox 17 News | MyTV30 | CW58, Ascension Saint Thomas and the Tennessee Titans to see who can recruit the most blood donors and earn top bragging rights at the annual Music City Battle of the Badges blood drive, presented by Ascension Saint Thomas. Eligible donors are encouraged to take part in this friendly competition Monday, July 20 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cornerstone Church Nashville, 726 W. Old Hickory Blvd., in Madison. The winner will be announced during an awards presentation immediately following the blood drive.
Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson will officially be presented the 2019 Battle of the Badges plaque at 9 a.m. 104.5 The Zone will broadcast live coverage of the event. All presenting donors will receive a free commemorative T-shirt and be entered in a drawing for a chance to win prizes, while supplies last*. *Offers and items are non-transferable, not redeemable for cash and while supplies last.
“The Tennessee Titans are proud to continue the tradition of supporting the Music City Battle of the Badges presented by our partner, Ascension Saint Thomas,” said Burke Nihil, President & CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “We understand that with COVID-19 still greatly impacting our community, blood donation is more important than ever to meet the needs of patient care. With social distancing precautions being taken to allow people to come out and safely donate blood, we hope Titans fans will take this opportunity to join us in donating on July 20 and we look forward to hosting this event again in 2021.”
Battle of the Badges provides an opportunity for family and friends who are healthy and well to come together to make a blood donation to help seriously ill and critically injured patients.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished the need for lifesaving blood in our community,” said Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson. “Despite safer at home directives, our officers have continued to respond to a number of calls involving persons with traumatic injuries. We are counting on donors to the Red Cross to ensure that the emergency blood supply remains constant even in these unprecedented times.”
The Red Cross currently faces an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood
shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily
paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A sustainable blood supply has never been more important as it is used for a wide range of clinical circumstances, and donated blood saves lives,” said Michelle Robertson, Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Ascension Saint Thomas. “At Ascension Saint Thomas, we are honored to support the efforts of impactful organizations saving lives across Middle Tennessee during this challenging time for our communities and the healthcare industry.”
The Music City Battle of the Badges marks a 12-year partnership with the Red Cross. Supporting law enforcement and fire personnel, while helping to save lives through blood donation, is a long-standing tradition that resonates more during a public health crisis.
“The Music City Battle of the Badges is much more than bragging rights between our agencies and this year, it feels even more impactful,” said Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall. “With the uncertainty of these times, this blood drive feels a bit like normalcy and the sheriff’s office looks forward to helping our community. I hope we have a great show of support at this event that will help support the Middle Tennessee area and those who need it most. Donating is easy, and in the eight to 10 minutes it takes to donate a pint of blood you could save up to three lives.”
Communities across the country count on the Red Cross for help every day – and supporting those communities is at the heart of its mission. Whether supplying blood products for patients in need of transfusions due to surgery, cancer treatments and trauma or collecting plasma from individuals who are fully recovered from COVID-19 to help treat seriously ill patients, the Red Cross mission never stops – even during this coronavirus crisis.
“2020 has shown us how important it is for us to support those who support our health care system,” said Nashville Fire Department Director Chief William Swann. “The American Red Cross is always there when we need them as an EMS response agency. We are committed to always being there for the Red Cross because the Red Cross’ work keeps all of us safe. Battle of the Badges this year is less a competition, but more a calling for all of us to step up for our community.”
As one of the largest-sponsored blood drives in Middle Tennessee, in 2019, the Battle of the Badges Blood Drives held from May to July collected 861 pints of lifesaving blood. The Metro Nashville Police Department secured the victory and was named the 2019 Best Badge in honor of Officer John Anderson who died in the line of duty July 4, 2019.
“It has been and continues to be our honor to support the Music City Battle of the Badges blood drive,” said Steve Underwood, Retired President & CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Police and Fire Department perform a great service in holding this drive, which provides blood to those who need it most during the slowest time of year for donations. I know this important campaign will continue for years to come and I am pleased that the Titans can partner with this critical community event.”
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. (The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.)
Blood drive safety precautions
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 ensure 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, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: MusicCityBOB 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 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 Ascension Saint Thomas
In Tennessee, Ascension Saint Thomas operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates. Across the state, Ascension Saint Thomas provided more than $137 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2019. Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., operating 2,600 sites of care – including 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
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.