APD, AFD, ATCEMS to participate in annual Battle of the Badges

We Are Blood is bringing back the annual Battle of the Badges to raise awareness and drive blood donations in Central Texas.

From July 1-9, the Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, and Austin-Travis County EMS, will "battle" it out to see who can recruit the most blood donors and the one to receive the most votes is declared the winner – bragging rights included.

"After COVID-19 suspended last year’s event, we’re thrilled to be back alongside our public safety partners for the annual ‘Battle of the Badges’ blood drive," said Fire Chief Joel G. Baker. "Although we all love a little friendly competition, the real winner is We Are Blood, as we work to stock their shelves with this life-saving gift; the summer months are traditionally one of the lowest for donations so we’re happy to do whatever we can to ensure those who need blood will have it."

We Are Blood says that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, blood donations have decreased due to fewer mobile drives, which has led to an ongoing shortage of blood and platelets. The organization hopes that bringing back Battle of the Badges will kickstart blood donations this summer, as donations typically dip this time of year.

Donors who want to participate in Battle of the Badges must sign up to donate at any one of three area donor centers or at one of 16 designated mobile blood drives. When arriving to register, donors may cast their vote for their favorite first responders and pick up a limited-edition Battle of the Badges T-shirt. 

Appointments are mandatory for all looking to donate blood. To book an appointment and learn more about donating blood, click here.

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