Residents make impact, donate blood during 10th annual Battle of the Badges

Published 9:38 am Friday, September 16, 2016

NW0916 Battle of the Badges A

To honor those that give their all to communities, residents in the Tri-Cities recently had the chance to do the same.
The 10th annual Battle of Badges blood collection, sponsored by WJHL and coordinated through the American Red Cross, came to an end on Monday, Sept. 12, at Oak Street Baptist Church in Elizabethton. Each year, the event encourages citizens in Northeast Tennessee to go out and give blood and vote for their favorite first responder group in their respective county. Carter, Washington, Sullivan and Unicoi counties were each represented during the weeklong event, which coincides with the commemoration of Sept. 11.
“There’s no better way to honor the sacrifices of many than by hosting a blood drive and supporting local emergency responders,” American Red Cross External Communications Manager Krystal Overmyer recently told the Elizabethton Star. “The Red Cross and emergency agencies are dedicated and embedded within these communities to be available if a disaster hits and we appreciate their service.”
Red Cross Account Manager Tom Hensley said the event is the perfect way to honor those no longer with us, along with those still with us today.
“This annual campaign is one way we can honor our first responders for what they do every day in our communities,” Hensley said. “Giving blood is one way to honor these local heroes, while becoming a hero yourself to a patient in need.”
As different agencies were picked in each county, Carter County had a bevy to choose from Monday. The Carter County Sheriff Department, Elizabethton Fire Department, Carter County Fire Department, Roan Mountain Fire Department and Elizabethton Police Department were each in the running for the top honor.
“All of these agencies deserve recognition and a huge thanks,” Hensley said. “But it was the Carter County Sheriff’s Department that received the most votes.”
The final tallies in Elizabethton surpassed expectation, Hensley added.
“We had 26 present and collected from 24,” he said. “That’s actually a great number for a blood drive. We will break the blood up into three separate parts; cells, platelets and plasma. The amount we were able to collect can help 72 people that are in need of any of those items.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox