Nashville's three primary emergency departments, the police and fire departments, alongside the sheriff's department, are in a battle with each other in an effort to raise the blood supply for the American Red Cross.
Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said this is the third year for the “Battle of the Badges” contest.
Officials with the American Red Cross said they desperately need blood donations, especially during the summer months.
“Schools are out and that makes up about 20% of our blood supply nationwide,” explained Tim Ryerson, CEO of the American Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Service Region.
He continued, “All types are desperately needed at this point. We're always in need of O-negative or anything with a negative, A-negative, B-negative.”
The Davidson County Sheriff's Department has won the Battle of the Badge each of the three years it's been held.
Sheriff Hall told Nashville's News 2 he won't let the other departments forget his team is the reigning champions.
“We represent the smallest number of badges, but we continually bring in the most blood every year and we believe we will do that again,” he said.
The three departments said they enjoy competing with one another and take pride in bragging rights, but they understand as well as anyone why a critical blood shortage must be dealt with quickly.
“Unfortunately for the police department, the fire department and the sheriff's department, we see everyday the tragedies that occur in the car crashes and other violent events. That makes it necessary to have blood on hand,” said Metro Police Deputy Chief Todd Henry.
He continued, “Several good friends of mine have been hurt and have had to have multiple blood transfusions throughout the extended period of stay that they had in the hospital and without the gift of blood from our neighbors in Middle Tennessee those officers may not have made it.”
Captain Ken Hollis from the Nashville Fire Department said the need for donations is great.
“When we have a call with multiple injuries, multiple victims that would obviously affect the blood supply,” he said. “We can have a call with as many as 10 patients and if they're all serious enough injuries where you're needing blood replacement that's going to effect the blood supply.”
The Battle of the Badges blood drive will be held at LP Field Friday, on Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
All donors will receive a Rock-and-Roll themed t-shirt and a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A sandwich.
Donors will also be entered into a contest to win a Gibson guitar and the chance to win a $3,000 American Express gift card.
Donors 16 to 21 years of age can also enter to win a $5,000 scholarship.
For more information visit the Red Cross' Web site Redcrossblood.org.