Public safety leaders are encouraging citizens to give the gift of life during the "Battle of the Badges" American Red Cross blood drive May 3 in Smyrna and La Vergne and May 8 in Murfreesboro.
The friendly battle will allow donors to give to either law enforcement teams or firefighter/paramedic teams during the blood drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, May 3 at the Smyrna Event Center and at La Vergne City Hall and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 8 at Patterson Park Community Center and the Sheriff’s Office in Murfreesboro.
People may register the following representatives to give blood at these sites:
- Shirley Key firstname.lastname@example.org at Smyrna Event Center.
- Sheree Robertson at email@example.com at La Vergne City Hall.
- Ashley McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org at Patterson Park Community Center.
- Lisa Marchesoni at email@example.com at the Sheriff’s Office.
When giving blood, the donor may decide if they want blood given to the police or fire/paramedics team. All donors will receive a T-shirt and a $5 Amazon eGift card.
Director Kathy Ferrell of the American Red Cross’ Heart of Tennessee Chapter said she is grateful for the first responders who understand the need to have an adequate blood supply for patients in the hospital.
"While we can’t wait to see who wins the inaugural Battle of the Badges, the real winners are the trauma patients, cancer patients, and every individual whose life depends on blood donations," Ferrell said.
Rutherford County Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said deputies know the importance of blood donations, especially since Deputy Lydia Saunders survived a medical emergency because people gave blood.
"We are grateful five donors gave blood that allowed Deputy Saunders to join our staff and become a volunteer for the Red Cross and other Sheriff’ Office activities," Fitzhugh said.
Chief Mark Foulks of Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department said the department has a successful partnership with the American Red Cross as it pertains to saving lives in our community.
"Whether it’s canvassing high risk areas and installing free smoke alarms, coordinating assistance for victims of fire and other devastating events, or donating blood, the fire community and our supporters always answer the call," Foulks said.
La Vergne Police Chief Mike Walker said giving blood is the gift that saves lives.
"As we approach warmer weather and more people are travelling our streets and highways, serious injuries will increase and a much higher demand for blood and blood donors will be desperately needed in order to save lives," Walker said. "Please donate."
Murfreesboro Police Chief Michael Bowen said, "Our officers and first-responders see first-hand how quickly emergencies can affect anyone. A friendly competition between Murfreesboro Police, Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Medical Services will help to save and sustain life through blood donations."
Photo: Giving a "thumbs up" for donating blood for "Battle of the Badges" are, from left, Rutherford County Fire Rescue Chief Larry Farley, Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Keith Lowery and Deputy Chief Egon Grissom.