Asheville’s first responders are facing off for a lifesaving cause. Local heroes are rolling up their sleeves — and encouraging the community to do the same — as they vie for the most pints donated at the sixth annual Battle of the Badges blood drive.
It happens 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 24 at First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St.
The blood drive comes at an important time for the Red Cross. Winter weather can lead to canceled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can cause some donors to become temporarily ineligible to donate. Despite these challenges, patients still depend on lifesaving donations every day.
That’s where Asheville’s first responders come in. The Asheville Fire Department, Asheville Police Department, Buncombe County Emergency Medical Service, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Highway Patrol will go head-to-head to encourage blood donations for their team. Donors at the blood drive will vote for their favorite team before they donate, and the winner is announced at the end of the drive.
Last year, Buncombe County EMS earned bragging rights with 35 pints collected. Overall, 130 pints were collected.
“First responders know firsthand how critical it is to have blood readily available in emergencies,” said Ryan Corcoran, donor recruitment director for the Carolinas Blood Services Region. “Through the blood drive, local heroes and their fans can help ensure blood is on the shelves before it is needed.”
All presenting donors at the blood drive will receive a T-shirt and local refreshments, courtesy of area restaurants.
To make an appointment, call 1-800-773-2767 or visit redcross.org/blood and enter the sponsor code avlbattleofbadges. Schedule your appointment today!
Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
The actual donation takes about 8-10 minutes, during which you will be seated comfortably. The process is safe and sterile. After donating, you should have a snack and something to drink in the refreshments area. You can leave the site after 10-15 minutes and continue with your normal daily activities.
- Have a light meal and plenty to drink.
- Bring your donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification.
- Bring the names of medications you are taking.
According to the American Red Cross:
- You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason.
- Some believe it is the right thing we do.
- Whatever your reason, the need is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. And you’ll feel good knowing you’ve helped change a life.