11th annual Battle of the Badges comes to county Monday

Published 7:56 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Residents are encouraged to celebrate the sacrifices of local emergency personnel with the American Red Cross next week.
The Northeast Tennessee chapter of the organization announced Wednesday that Carter County would be the final location for this year’s “Battle of the Badges” blood drive. Thomas Hensley with the American Red Cross stated that competition has been in effect for 11 years and includes emergency personnel from Washington, Unicoi and Carter counties.
“We’re always excited about this event,” Hensley told the Elizabethton Star. “It is a great way for the public to get involved by donating blood to honor the men and women that do so much for our communities.”
Residents wanting to participate can visit Oak Street Baptist Church on Monday, Sept. 11, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. and donate blood, while selecting a different emergency responder group to represent for the competition. The date serves as a reminder for those that give their all for the country, with the country celebrating National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Hensley added that each of the different agencies in Carter County and the Elizabethton Police Department and expects this year to be no different with support from various areas.
“It has been a favorite event,” he said. “Some of the different local agencies have been sending out email blasts to working and already encouraging people to go out and donate. It is great to see the groups take an interest in this event, which will help those in need of blood.”
Donors will receive a free American Red Cross t-shirt for participating in the event, which is sponsored by WJHL and ABC Tri-Cities. To join the cause, register to donate by visiting redcrossblood.org, use the Red Cross Blood Donor app or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Fall tends to be the peak time of the year when the Red Cross is in urgent need for blood and platelet donors.
“Our Battle of the Badges event comes during a busy time of the year for the Red Cross,” Hensley said. “We always experience an urgent coming through Labor Day week.”
While any resident is encouraged to donate, the Red Cross is seeking type O negative and O positive blood donors.
Ramping up the inventory of supplies goes in conjunction with September recognized as National Preparedness Month. Whether it be locally, or some of the instances of natural disasters recently stemming from inclement weather, the Red Cross needs to collect nearly 14,000 blood donations daily for normal patients for roughly 2,600 hospitals across the country.

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