Help save lives this summer at Music City Battle of the Badges

Local first responders will work together to increase blood donations.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and Nashville Fire Department are teaming up with the American Red Cross, Ascension Saint Thomas and the Tennessee Titans to see who can recruit the most blood donors and earn top bragging rights at the annual Music City Battle of the Badges blood drive, presented by Ascension Saint Thomas. Eligible donors are encouraged to take part in this friendly competition Monday, July 20 from 7 am to 4 pm at Cornerstone Church Nashville, 726 W. Old Hickory Blvd. in Madison. The winner will be announced during an awards presentation immediately following the blood drive.

Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson will officially be presented the 2019 Battle of the Badges plaque at 9 am. All presenting donors will receive a free commemorative T-shirt and be entered in a drawing for a chance to win prizes, while supplies last*. *Offers and items are non-transferable, not redeemable for cash and while supplies last.

“The Tennessee Titans are proud to continue the tradition of supporting the Music City Battle of the Badges presented by our partner, Ascension Saint Thomas,” said Burke Nihil, president/CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “We understand that with COVID-19 still greatly impacting our community, blood donation is more important than ever to meet the needs of patient care. With social distancing precautions being taken to allow people to come out and safely donate blood, we hope Titans fans will take this opportunity to join us in donating on July 20 and we look forward to hosting this event again in 2021.”

Battle of the Badges provides an opportunity for family and friends who are healthy and well to come together to make a blood donation to help seriously ill and critically injured patients.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished the need for lifesaving blood in our community,” said Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson. “Despite safer at home directives, our officers have continued to respond to a number of calls involving persons with traumatic injuries. We are counting on donors to the Red Cross to ensure that the emergency blood supply remains constant even in these unprecedented times.”

The Red Cross currently faces an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A sustainable blood supply has never been more important as it is used for a wide range of clinical circumstances, and donated blood saves lives,” said Michelle Robertson, chief nursing officer and chief operating officer of Ascension Saint Thomas. “At Ascension Saint Thomas, we are honored to support the efforts of impactful organizations saving lives across Middle Tennessee during this challenging time for our communities and the healthcare industry.”

The Music City Battle of the Badges marks a 12-year partnership with the Red Cross. Supporting law enforcement and fire personnel, while helping to save lives through blood donation, is a long-standing tradition that resonates more during a public health crisis.

“The Music City Battle of the Badges is much more than bragging rights between our agencies and this year, it feels even more impactful,” said Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall. “With the uncertainty of these times, this blood drive feels a bit like normalcy and the sheriff’s office looks forward to helping our community. I hope we have a great show of support at this event that will help support the Middle Tennessee area and those who need it most. Donating is easy, and in the eight to 10 minutes it takes to donate a pint of blood you could save up to three lives.”

Communities across the country count on the Red Cross for help every day and supporting those communities is at the heart of its mission. Whether supplying blood products for patients in need of transfusions due to surgery, cancer treatments and trauma or collecting plasma from individuals who are fully recovered from COVID-19 to help treat seriously ill patients, the Red Cross mission never stops, even during this coronavirus crisis.

“2020 has shown us how important it is for us to support those who support our health care system,” said Nashville Fire Department Director Chief William Swann. “The American Red Cross is always there when we need them as an EMS response agency. We are committed to always being there for the Red Cross because the Red Cross’ work keeps all of us safe. Battle of the Badges this year is less a competition, but more a calling for all of us to step up for our community.”

As one of the largest-sponsored blood drives in Middle Tennessee, in 2019, the Battle of the Badges Blood Drives held from May to July collected 861 pints of lifesaving blood. The Metro Nashville Police Department secured the victory and was named the 2019 Best Badge in honor of Officer John Anderson who died in the line of duty July 4, 2019.

“It has been and continues to be our honor to support the Music City Battle of the Badges blood drive,” said Steve Underwood, retired president/CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Metro Police and Fire Department perform a great service in holding this drive, which provides blood to those who need it most during the slowest time of year for donations. I know this important campaign will continue for years to come and I am pleased that the Titans can partner with this critical community event.”

The Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. Donors who help support the urgent need by giving at this drive will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at <RedCrossBlood.org>. (The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.)

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