Daphne first responders have Battle of the Badges blood drive

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 4:32 PM CDT
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DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - You might say Daphne Firefighters and Police Officers have competitive blood and that was literally the case Friday, June 2, 2023. The two departments teamed up with the American Red Cross for a Battle of the Badges blood drive.

It was blue team against red at Lott Park in Daphne as the city’s finest competed to see which department could get the most people signed up to give blood. The Battle of the Badges isn’t a new concept for the Red Cross but it’s the first time it’s been done here. Red Cross officials were thrilled with the turnout.

The goal was to get 25 blood donors but by midday, 36 had already signed up
The goal was to get 25 blood donors but by midday, 36 had already signed up(Hal Scheurich)

“Today, we actually have a full appointment sheet and have a waiting list for people who still want to donate,” said Angela Turner with American Red Cross.

The police and fire departments reached out in a variety of ways, including social media to recruit donors. The goal was 25 between them but by midday, 36 had already signed up. There may not be a trophy at the end of the day but for these first responders, bragging rights is always nice.

“We always try to look for different things to compete in but we figured this would be a good idea for us to kind of compete but that would also benefit other people as well,” said Deputy Fire Marshal, Brett Camilleri.

“Everybody always loves the fire department so it would be great to be able to show them that we get a little love too,” Daphne Police Chief, Brian Gulsby said with a chuckle.

While the contest between police and fire waged on, the real heroes of the day were inside the donation center doing what they do all the time…donating their life-giving blood. Tom Gibson just received a pin from the Red Cross for hitting the eight-gallon mark for blood given.

“I do it as many times in the year that I can,” said Gibson. “It’s just what I do.”

“Because it helps people. Plain and simple,” was Richard Wood’s answer as to why he gives blood.

Between Gibson and Wood, nearly twelve gallons of blood has been donated over the years. You too can be a hero by donating blood. Just contact an American Red Cross office near you to schedule an appointment.