Local News

Red Cross Begins Holiday “Blood Battle”

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Red Cross begins their annual Battle of the Badge blood drive today. The competition is a friendly rivalry between law enforcement, firefighters and EMS. The objective is to get families and friends of public safety workers to donate in their honor.

Officials say bad weather and holiday happens take donors out of their schedule and puts a strain on the blood supply. 

Alexandra Cole with the Red Cross says its a critical time, especially as the Red Cross has adapted their strategy to focus on driving donors to blood collection centers and a few successful blood mobile events.

The competition continues through December 26. 


Battle of the Badges kicks off in Fort Wayne
Annual competition among first responders to help boost winter blood supply

The 21st annual Battle of the Badges competition returns to Fort Wayne this December and the community is invited to help save lives in honor of local police, fire and EMS personnel.

Battle of the Badges is the longest-running local blood donation competition in Fort Wayne. Taking place from Dec. 14-26 at two locations, the Fort Wayne Donor Center and the Lutheran Hospital Donor Center, officers and the community can give blood or platelets and vote for one of the two groups battling for blood – police and fire/EMS.

The Battle of the Badges is a good-natured rivalry among first responder groups that helps ensure the blood supply keeps pace with demand during the holidays. Groups participating this year include local law enforcement (Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police) versus fire and EMS responders (Fort Wayne Fire Department and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority).

In addition to helping save lives and supporting local first responders, those who come to give for the Battle of the Badges will receive a commemorative Red Cross t-shirt and refreshments from Pizza Hut.

The winter holiday season is one of the most challenging periods of the year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood and platelet donations. Busy schedules and inclement weather often mean fewer blood donations. However, the need for blood is constant. Every day, regardless of the season, hospital patients need blood or platelets for cancer treatments, lifesaving surgeries, or emergency care related to accidents or trauma.

Once the campaign begins you can check the current score online at www.redcrossblood.org/indianaohio. To make an appointment to donate, contact the Red Cross at redcrossblood.org or 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Battle of the Badges donation locations and hours:

Fort Wayne Donor Center
1212 E. California Road in Fort Wayne, (across from the Memorial Coliseum)
Monday, Dec. 14: 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 15 – Thursday, Dec. 17: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 18: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 19: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 20: Closed
Monday, Dec. 21 – Wednesday, Dec. 23: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 24: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 25: Closed
Saturday, Dec. 26: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Lutheran Hospital Donor Center
7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 107 in Fort Wayne (in the South Lobby of Lutheran Hospital)

Monday, Dec. 14 – Tuesday, Dec. 15 Noon. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 16: Closed
Thursday, Dec. 17 – Saturday, Dec. 19: 6 a.m. – noon
Sunday, Dec. 20: Closed
Monday, Dec. 21 – Tuesday, Dec. 22: Noon. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 23: Closed
Thursday, Dec. 24: 6 a.m. – noon
Friday, Dec. 25: Closed
Saturday, Dec. 26: 6 a.m. – noon

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. 2015-APL-03517


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