‘Battle of the Badges’ blood drive aims for 70 pints

The annual “Battle of the Badges” American Red Cross blood drive, a friendly competition between Farmington Hills police and fire departments, collected 60 pints in 2018.

For this year’s drive, held September 4, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Costick Center in Farmington Hills, organizers are reaching a little higher.

“We want to challenge you to beat that,” Red Cross regional representative Trudy Smith told Farmington Hills city council members Monday. “Our goal this year is to collect 70 pints.”

Smith said 100 potential donors must sign up to make that happen. And the Red Cross has added a few incentives to ensure a good turnout, including raffles and coupons.

“Most importantly is the gift of life you will be giving to patients,” Smith said. “It’s a nice, jovial effort, but it’s also serious because there’s always someone in need of blood products every 15 seconds… Illness takes no summer vacation, illness takes no holidays.”

The 123 pints collected during Costick Center drives in January and June of this year helped 246 patients at 43 area hospitals in Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Washtenaw, and St. Clair counties.

Smith said drives have been scheduled at Farmington High and North Farmington High during this school year. She also acknowledged the drives held at Harrison High School, which closed in June, and said many donors have their first experience with giving the gift of life in high school.

Donors ages 17 and older are welcome; 16-year-olds may donate with parental permission.

All blood types are needed, but Type O is in especially high demand since it can be transfused to patients in other blood groups and used in emergency cases when a patient’s blood type isn’t known.

To make an appointment to donate at the Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Rd., on September 4, call 248-473-1800 or register online at redcrossblood.org with the the sponsor code costickcenter. For more information about donating blood, call Red Cross Donor Support at 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org.