First responders donate blood in annual Battle

Marty Bender with the Fort Wayne Police Department donates blood as part of the Battle of the Badges drive on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Police officers, firefighters and paramedics all shed blood Monday – voluntarily, and for a good cause.

The 21st annual Battle of the Badges local blood drive competition kicked off Monday at the Fort Wayne Donor Center and the Lutheran Hospital Donor Center, where local first responders donated blood or platelets. The Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police took on the Fort Wayne Fire Department and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority in the battle.

Sgt. Ron Galaviz with the Indiana State Police donates blood at the Battle of the Badges drive on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015.
Sgt. Ron Galaviz with the Indiana State Police donates blood at the Battle of the Badges drive on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015.

The battle runs now through Dec. 26. Donors are encouraged to vote for one of the groups, and those who come to give for the Battle of the Badges will receive a commemorative Red Cross t-shirt and refreshments from Pizza Hut.

The “bloody” rivalry helps ensure the blood supply keeps pace with demand during the holidays, when busy schedules and inclement weather often negatively impact blood donations, the American Red Cross said.

Blood donations can be made at the following locations:

Fort Wayne Donor Center

  • 1212 E. California Road, across from the Memorial Coliseum
  • Monday, Dec. 14: 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 15 through Thursday, Dec. 17: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 18: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 19: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 20: Closed
  • Monday, Dec. 21 – Wednesday, Dec. 23: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 25: Closed
  • Saturday, Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Lutheran Hospital Donor Center

  • 7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., suite 107, in the south lobby of Lutheran Hospital
  • Monday, Dec. 14 – Tuesday, Dec. 15: noon – 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 16: Closed
  • Thursday, Dec. 17 – Saturday, Dec. 19: 6 a.m. – noon
  • Sunday, Dec. 20: Closed
  • Monday, Dec. 21 – Tuesday, Dec. 22: noon – 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 23: Closed
  • Thursday, Dec. 24: 6 a.m. – noon
  • Friday, Dec. 25: Closed
  • Saturday, Dec. 26: 6 a.m. – noon

How to donate blood:
Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app at 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 (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.

Save time at a donation appointment by using RapidPass to complete a pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of a donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

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