A friendly competition for a good cause is bringing together first responders for a blood drive for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
The “Battle of the Badges” blood drive, in partnership with Medic Regional Blood Center, will pit Oak Ridge police, firefighters, and Anderson County EMS against each other to see which group will inspire the most blood donations.
“We just want people to come donate. We’re just excited about them wanting to show up. We all win in the end if people show up to donate,” said Oak Ridge Police Chief Robin Smith.
Smith says the department first got the idea after an officer’s grandson needed multiple blood transfusions. At only six days old, Broc Selby already had four transfusions. His grandmother, an Oak Ridge police officer, was inspired to help her family and others like them.
The group that encourages the most donors to give blood wins bragging rights, but it’s the cause that ultimately wins, according to the organizers.
“You don’t have to be a first responder to come out and help the community,” said Anthony Lopez, a firefighter and first responder.
The Battle of the Badges Blood Drive will be held Friday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Civic Center, 1403 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
All donors will receive a free T-shirt and a Texas Roadhouse appetizer coupon.