Battle of the Badges Blood Drive

January 8, 2013

Police officers and firefighters in Santa Cruz once again are competing to see who can give the most blood at the “Battle of the Badges” blood drive on January 12.

The blood drive will be held in the Freight Building (119 Center Street, Santa Cruz) at Depot Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This second annual event is an opportunity for all badge carrying personnel – as well as their family, friends and other local residents – to have a positive impact on the community while enjoying a friendly competition to see which group can secure the most blood donations. In the end, it’s really about helping to save lives.

“Our participation in this drive will have a direct effect on the availability of blood for accident victims, cancer patients, premature babies and burn patients,” said Rob Oatey, President of Santa Cruz Fire Fighters Association Local 1716. “But we can also show some fire department pride when we bring in the most donors again.”

The fire department’s victory last year came by the slimmest of margins – just one pint of blood. Santa Cruz Police Department Sgt. Michael Harms is confident the police department will come out on top this year. However, he’s quick to add that – regardless of the results – both groups will be “winners” in the end.

“In Santa Cruz, it is virtually impossible to go anywhere without seeing someone you know,” Harms said. “Any one of us may need blood some day, something as police we unfortunately see in our job. This battle is one where all of us win. We’ll call the fire department winners even though they won’t collect as much blood as the police department will.”

The American Red Cross will be issuing two awards after the final numbers have been counted. One for the department that brings in the greatest number of donors and one for the department that brings in the most donors from its own organization.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

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 or join our blog at

Who: Members of the Santa Cruz police and fire departments – as well as their family, friends and any other residents who want to donate blood for those in need

What: Battle of the Badges Blood Drive

When: Saturday, Jan. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: The Freight Building at Depot Park (119 Center Street, Santa Cruz)

How: To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or schedule your appointment online. “Walk-ins” also are welcome.