American Red Cross, first responders team up for ‘Battle of the Badges’ blood donation event

Dec 11, 2023, 4:52 PM | Updated: Dec 12, 2023, 6:49 am

SPANISH FORK — The American Red Cross is making a plea for more blood donations to keep up with the overwhelming demand. The organization said the holidays are always difficult to get people out because they have so much going on.

That’s why the Red Cross teamed up with Emergency Management Services in Spanish Fork to create a friendly competition between police and firefighters. The hope is to try and get more people out to donate.

They call it the “Battle of the Badges.”

“We try to do anything we can to engage the community to make it fun while we are saving lives at the same time. Each unit of blood has the ability to save three lives,” said Benjamin Donner, executive director of the American Red Cross, Central and Southern Utah Chapter. “There are so many activities going on at the same time. We got holiday parties, we got work things, we got personal things. Some take vacations or even bad weather. All of that combines against us as we hold these drives.”

Two blood donors at the 'Battle of the Badges' event.

Two blood donors at the ‘Battle of the Badges’ event. (KSL TV)

It allows for residents like Nick Peck to get involved in the action.

“I voted for the police,” Peck said. “I think, for me, it’s a chance to give back. Anytime I can help out.”

“I voted for fire and EMS,” added Brianna Wells, another resident. “I’m a nurse by profession, so I chose EMS, close enough.”

Spanish Fork’s emergency manager, Trevor Sperry, said it makes a huge difference when you make it a competition.

“When you bring in the names of our public safety police, fire and ambulance people are more advantageous to come out and support,” he said.

By the end of the day, Sperry said firefighters pulled off the win. They will take home the Battle of the Badges trophy, which they will display in their department until next year’s competition.

KSL 5 TV Live

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American Red Cross, first responders team up for ‘Battle of the Badges’ blood donation event