SEWELL, N.J. (April 23, 2018) — Washington Township Mayor Joann Gattinelli has issued a challenge to the township’s police and fire departments to see who can recruit the most eligible blood donors in the community during their first ever American Red Cross Battle of the Badges blood drive competition on Tuesday, May 1.
“The Battle of the Badges is an exciting, new way to encourage blood donation in our area. This event will be the first ever held in Gloucester County, and is only the third in the state of New Jersey,” said Mayor Gattinelli. “I am looking forward to the friendly competition between our Washington Township Police Department and our Washington Township Fire Department. We encourage residents to sign up online and stop in to donate blood to the Red Cross, as there is always a need for blood donations. Stop by on Tuesday, May 1 and make your choice: Police or Fire Department?”
Washington Township Chief of Police Patrick Gurcsik and Fire Chief Patrick Dolgos were eager to accept the challenge.
“Please schedule to donate blood and help us save lives. Each donor will save up to three lives. Never underestimate the power and the hero that you are when you make that choice to donate blood,” said Chief Gurcsik.
“The Washington Township Fire Department is always committed in helping others, and this event gives another opportunity to do just that,” said Chief Dolgos. You don’t have to be a police officer or a firefighter to be a hero. By donating blood, you may be saving the life of an accident victim, a cancer patient or a soldier on the battlefield. We hope everyone can join us at this outstanding event and be the true hero on May 1.”
Community members are needed to roll up their sleeves and donate blood with “team police” or “team fire” during the blood drive on May 1 between 10 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Washington Township Municipal Building, 523 Egg Harbor Road in Sewell, New Jersey. All presenting donors will receive a free T-shirt, while supplies last. Appointments are strongly encouraged. To schedule an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code Washington Township BOB or call 1-800-REDCROSS.
Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition that helps the Red Cross meet patient and hospital demand for blood.
“Our first responders know, firsthand, how important it is to have blood readily available for emergencies,” said Alana Mauger, external communications manager, Red Cross Penn Jersey Blood Services Region. “We’re thrilled to have Washington Township fire and police departments step up to the challenge by organizing this drive and educating the community about the importance of blood donation.”
All first-responder agencies that host Battle of Badges blood drives with the Red Cross between May 1-June 30 will compete to earn a spot on the nationwide leaderboard and could be crowned the winner of the best Battle of the Badges drive across the nation.
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 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.