A total of 43 pints of blood was collected during the “Battle of the Badges” blood drive competition last month, exceeding the Red Cross’ goal.
The friendly competition involved donors giving blood in the name of either “Team RFD” for the city fire department or “Team RPD” for the city police department, officials said. Donors received a free “Battle of the Badges” T-shirt for giving blood at the Sept. 21 drive, held at Rome Memorial Hospital.
“Rome fire and police departments traditionally hold friendly sports competitions to support a community cause,” explained Deputy Fire Chief Mark Kohlbrenner in a release.
Kohlbrenner works at Rome Memorial Hospital alongside his fire department duties, and helped organize the blood drive.
“Looking for a way to include all ages from both departments, I challenged the police department to join us in the Battle of the Badges blood drive to see which department could recruit the most blood donors in the community,” he stated.
Red Cross officials said the fire department won a narrow victory in the competition.
An additional eight pints was donated in a follow-up competition held at St. John’s Lutheran’s Church the following week, authorities said.
Rome Memorial Hospital hosts a blood drive every other month.
The next blood drive will be Nov. 20, according to the Red Cross announcement.