Kan. First Responders Battle in Blood Drive Competition

BY: McClatchy / EMSWORLD

May 14—Topeka’s police and fire departments have had friendly battles on the football field and basketball court over the years, but this week, they will engage in a different kind of competition with far-reaching benefits for the community.

The two agencies, who are often first on scene of emergencies, will team up with the American Red Cross for the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive, set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at the Holliday Building, 620 S.E. Madison.

During the blood drive, the Topeka Fire Department and the Topeka Police Department will compete to see who can recruit the most donors. Everyone who gives blood can cast a vote to determine who will win this year’s bragging rights.

“The city of Topeka is excited to host another Battle of the Badges event,” said Fire Marshal Mike Martin in a news release. “Last year was extremely competitive, with the Fire Department winning by one donation.”

Susan Faler, Central Plains Blood Services Region account manager for the American Red Cross, thanked the first-responders not only for keeping the safe, but also helping with the blood drive.

The blood drive will take place during Trauma Awareness Month, which is observed in May. The Red Cross is calling for donors to give blood regularly to be prepared to meet the needs of patients in emergency situations.

According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2 million hospital admissions each year.

In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel use type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma because they can be transfused to any patient, regardless of blood type.

According to the Red Cross, less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.

Donors of all blood types are encouraged to take part in the Battle of the Badges drive. To make an appointment or for more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-(800)-RED CROSS and use sponsor code “Topeka.”

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