Battle of the Badges Blood Drive allows firefighters to save lives in different way

JACKSON, Mo. (KBSI) – There’s nothing like some friendly competition.

At the Jackson Civic Center on Friday, seven different fire departments challenged one another to see who could give the most blood at Battle of the Badges.

Michael Bell of the Millersville Rural Fire Protection District said that with the national blood shortage, which only gets magnified during the summer, this blood drive is a chance to contribute to fulfilling that need.

“With the blood shortages, most of the donations happen from schools like technical colleges and regular colleges, so in summertime, there’s a shortage,” he said. “This is a really unique opportunity where we can step in and affect change and save lives, just by donating blood.”

Deputy Chief Tim Bleichroth of the Fruitland Fire Protection District said this drive is a way for fire departments to give back to the community in a different way than they usually do.

“We serve the public on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “We see them in their time of need. We see them in their time of trauma, but this will help us also help the individuals we don’t see and know that we’re still making a difference even when we’re not having to see the patients.” 

On a similar token, Bell said this drive allows firefighters to see people on a more positive note than usual.

“We don’t get to meet the community all the time on their best days,” he said. “We might have calls on their worst days, so it’s always good to come out and actually meet them in a great setting where you can kind of meet the people you’re serving.”

The Fruitland Fire Protection District, which donated the most blood, will be presented with a trophy from the American Red Cross at next month’s association meeting.

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