LOS ANGELES (Dec. 5, 2018) — Southern California first responders spend their days helping others and helping to save lives as their top priority. For the 13th year, these first responders will be using that lifesaving priority to bolster the community’s blood supply.
Individuals can join in the friendly competition by donating at a Battle of the Badges Blood Drive between Dec. 1, 2018, and Feb. 28, 2019, at locations throughout Southern California. Those who come out to give at a Battle of the Badges Blood Drive will receive a commemorative T-shirt, while supplies last.
During the annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive, Southern California law and public safety agencies compete to see who can recruit the most blood donors.
“Year-after-year, Southern California first responders, law enforcement and public safety continue to answer the call to roll up a sleeve and help local patients by donating blood,” said Geri Hernandez-Ostil, local market manager, Red Cross Southern California Blood Services Region. “The annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive offers a way for area residents to support these local heroes and help save a life by giving blood.”
More than 48,000 pints of blood have been donated in Southern California since the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive began in 2007. Nearly 200 local, state, county and federal badge-carrying agencies will participate in the 2018-2019 campaign. The Los Angeles Police Department had the greatest number of donors overall last year but faces stiff competition from all participants this year.
These blood drives come as the Red Cross recovers from a severe blood shortage earlier this fall. Blood and platelet donors are urgently needed to give now to ensure patient needs are met in the coming weeks. By giving blood or platelets, donors may give patients more time with loved ones. Make an appointment to give blood at the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and enter sponsor code badgesocal.
How to donate blood
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 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.