Two Jefferson City first responders are teaming up with the American Red Cross of Central and Northern Missouri in a competition to see which can recruit the most eligible blood donors for a drive early next month.
The Battle of the Badges blood drive is scheduled 2-6 p.m. May 6 at the Jefferson City Elks Lodge 513, 901 Ellis Blvd.
Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition to encourage community members to join with the Jefferson City Fire and Jefferson City Police departments and give blood. All presenting donors will get to cast a vote to help decide the winner and will receive Battle of the Badges T-shirts (while supplies last) and root beer floats after donating.
Donors of all blood types are needed during May, which is National Trauma Awareness Month. Trauma accounts for 41 million emergency room visits every year in the United States.
The Red Cross urges eligible donors to participate, to help ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients with traumatic injuries or other serious medical needs.
Appointments to donate blood during the drive are recommended, although not necessary.
People who have appointments will go through the process faster than those who have no appointments because they will have filled out paperwork ahead of time, American Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydio said.
To make an appointment to donate during the battle, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.
When using the app to make an appointment for the drive, use reference/sponsor code "JCElks."
A blood donor card, driver license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.
People who are age 17 (16 with parents' consent) and older, weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate.
On Saturday, the Red Cross will conduct installations of smoke alarms in Jefferson City (9 a.m.-noon) and Holts Summit (2-5 p.m.)
Anyone wishing to volunteer to help with installations in these locations is asked to sign up at redcross.org/stamc (under "Get Involved in Missouri" and "learn more").