Battle of the Badges blood drive calls for community support in 2024

February 12, 2024

Southern California first responders compete in friendly blood donation contest

The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and L.A. County Sheriff’s Department are currently engaged in the “Battle of the Badges,” an annual blood donation contest held during January, February, and March.

This initiative aims to rally the most blood donors among Southern California’s first responders, with a call to the community to join Team LAFD in a life-saving endeavor.

LAFD spokesperson Brian Humphrey emphasized the importance of community involvement: “We’re asking you to join Team LAFD in helping save lives!”

The Battle of the Badges is recognized as the largest blood drive among public safety agencies in the United States.

Since its inception in 2007, it has seen more than 50,000 units of blood donated by local first responders.

The competition not only fosters a spirit of camaraderie among different departments but significantly contributes to the national blood supply, ensuring that patients in need receive timely access to essential blood transfusions.

How to participate in the Battle of the Badges

Those interested in contributing to the cause can easily schedule an appointment to donate blood through the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting the Red Cross website, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS with the sponsor code BOB24.

Participants in the Battle of the Badges blood drive will receive “our heartfelt appreciation – and a commemorative t-shirt, while supplies last,” Humphrey noted, encouraging community members to take immediate action to support the initiative.

Upcoming community blood drives

The campaign includes several community blood drives, with opportunities to donate at various LAFD stations throughout Los Angeles.

The remaining dates and locations for the LAFD Battle of the Badges Community Blood Drives are as follows:

  • Thursday, February 15, 2024, at Fire Station 59 in West Los Angeles
  • Saturday, February 17, 2024, at Fire Station 87 in Granada Hills
  • Monday, March 18, 2024, at Fire Station 5 in Westchester
  • Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Fire Station 87 in Granada Hills

Last year’s Battle of the Badges resulted in 2,500 units of blood collected, with this year’s goal set at 3,000 units.

Humphrey encourages the public to “please roll up your sleeve alongside the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department to ensure the gift of blood is available for anyone in need.”

FSJA Comment

The Battle of the Badges serves as a critical reminder of the ongoing need for blood donations, particularly from those within the emergency services community, who understand first-hand the life-saving impact of such contributions.

By extending the challenge to include the broader community, the initiative fosters a sense of unity among different public safety agencies, highlighting the collective effort required to maintain a stable blood supply.

The increase in the donation goal reflects an optimistic outlook towards community participation, underscoring the importance of each individual contribution towards achieving a common objective.

As the event continues to grow, it sets a precedent for similar initiatives nationwide, illustrating the power of collaboration in meeting critical healthcare needs.

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