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Everyone wins, especially patients, in ‘Battle of the Badges’ blood drive

First-responders in Madison are fighting a battle in which everyone wins, especially injured and sick individuals.

“Battle of the Badges” blood drive at City Hall on Dec. 17 pitted the officers in Madison Police Department in good-spirited competition with the firefighters in Madison Fire and Rescue Department.

“The Battle of the Badges blood drive is a friendly competition to encourage community members to join local heroes and perform a heroic duty of their own,” Capt. John D. Stringer said. Stringer works in special operations in the police department.

“All presenting donors at the blood drive had the opportunity to cast their vote to help decide the winner of this year’s competition,” he said. American Red Cross received the donated blood.

The winning department in Battle of the Badges will earn bragging rights and a trophy. “All personnel were encouraged to participate and both agencies were well represented,” he said.

“This worthwhile event brings attention to the need for blood donations,” Stringer said. “Blood is always in short supply this time of year. It is important to assist and care for our fellow citizens in any way we can, especially when it means saving a life.”

Some firefighters and officers were not available to donate because of vacation leave and recent bouts with colds and flu. “But all wanted to contribute,” Stringer said. “I was not able to give blood due to recently having had the flu but had been planning on it.”

Firefighters and police officers always have a “friendly rivalry” that will never really be settled, Stringer said. “When it’s time for us to go to work, there is no rivalry — just a combined effort to protect and serve our citizens.”

Stringer encourages the public to donate blood at the next Battle of the Badges in 2013. “We will do it again,” he said.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to donate blood for American Red Cross by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting redcrossblood.org.

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