Help decide who wins DC’s ‘Battle of the Badges’ by donating blood

Jason Medina, an officer with MPD’s 6th District, donates blood during the 2021 Battle of the Badges. Medina is a main organizer at this year’s event and will be there Friday. (Courtesy MPD)

Blood donors are being asked to help settle a friendly wager on whether more people’s hearts are police department “true blue,” or believe in pumping blood that’s “fire engine red.”

You could be the decisive vote at the second D.C. Battle of the Badges, a blood donation drive being held by the District’s first responders on Friday, Aug. 19.

“Help D.C.’s bravest help you. Come on out and support your community,” D.C. Fire and EMS Chief John A. Donnelly Sr. told WTOP.

The 2021 Battle of the Badges trophy. (Courtesy DC FEMS)

The winner of last year’s inaugural event — the Metropolitan Police Department, with 34 versus 31 pints of blood donated — noted that everyone wins when people participate.

“We are hoping D.C. or DMV residents can join MPD and D.C. Fire and EMS for a friendly competition to help save lives and give back to our community,” MPD Public Affairs Specialist Brianna Burch said.

“MPD and D.C. Fire and EMS are tasked with responding to calls 24/7, seven days a week, and bravely save the lives of those in need. Donating blood is another vital lifesaving measure and each pint donated can save up to three lives.”

The national capital region Red Cross sponsors the Battle of the Badges. All those who turn out and donate will receive a Battle of the Badges T-shirt, while supplies last.

“Just remember who you’re helping,” Red Cross Communications Director Ashley Henyan said.

“You’re helping someone who’s experienced a difficult childbirth, an accident, cancer patients. … these are the people who rely on blood transfusions to survive. That’s why we’re asking everyone to come out and support their favorite first responder department tomorrow.”

Donations are being collected in locations specific to each department. The blood drives are being held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19.

To vote for the fire department, donate at:

D.C. Fire and EMS Training Academy
4600 Shepard Pkwy SW
Washington, D.C. 20032

To vote for the police department, head to:

St. Luke Catholic Church
4925 East Capitol St. SE
Washington, D.C. 20019

To make an appointment to donate on the Red Cross website, fill in the appropriate ZIP code into the box stating “find a blood drive.”

Enter ZIP code 20019 for the blood drive at St. Luke’s Church with the police department; enter the ZIP code 20032 to vote for the fire department at the training academy.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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