Firefighters and police team up for Battle of Badges blood drive

MIDDLEBURY — Local fire and law enforcement personnel including the Vermont State Police are teaming with the American Red Cross for the first annual Battle of the Badges blood drive to see who can recruit the most eligible donors in their community to donate blood.
Individuals can join the Battle of the Badges blood drive by donating on Tuesday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Middlebury American Legion Post located at 49 Wilson Road. People’s blood donations will help decide who wins bragging rights for Addison County.
Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition to encourage community members to join their local first responders and perform their own heroic act with a blood donation. All presenting donors will have the opportunity to choose whether they want their blood donation to count toward the law-enforcement side or the fire-department side.
Whichever side claims the highest total at the end of the drive wins bragging rights. Addison County law-enforcement agencies want community members to know that their help is needed, because law enforcement is outnumbered 23 to 5 by fire protection agencies in the county.
“But the real winner will be the Red Cross and the community, since there’s an urgent need for blood supplies,” said Lt. Jeffrey Danoski, commander of the Vermont State Police’s New Haven barracks and an organizer of the blood drive. “This blood drive is a fun way to bring law enforcement and fire departments together to support and give back to the community.”
“The Sept. 18 Battle of the Badges blood drive gives everyone in Addison County the chance to be a hero to a patient in need with their blood donation,” said Randy Stearns, president of the Addison County Firefighters Association. “And firefighters love a challenge. We will be on hand that day to do everything we can to win this competition.”
“Fire and law enforcement units know firsthand how important it is to have blood readily available for emergencies,” said Mary Brant, external communications manager of the Northern New England Blood Services Region. “By hosting this blood drive, they are helping ensure that blood is on the shelves before it is needed.”
To make an appointment for the Addison County Battle of the Badges, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

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