The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Nashville Fire Department, Brentwood Fire Department, Brentwood Police Department, Nolensville Fire Department, and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up with the American Red Cross, Ascension Saint Thomas, and the Tennessee Titans to encourage 2,977 blood donations by Sept. 10.
The annual “Battle of the Badges” blood drives in the past have created friendly competition that takes place to see which Badge can collect the most pints at their blood drive for patient care. For 2021, the state of Tennessee will be taking part in “Remembering the Badges” as first responders work collectively to strive to collect the number of pints equal to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
“This year, we are going to set aside our competition and work collectively to memorialize the lives lost 20 years ago,” said Davidson County Sheriff, Daron Hall. “Together, we will make a difference in our community by helping others through blood donation.”
“Remembering 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. Currently, the Red Cross is seeing fewer blood and platelet donors give as the nation continues to deal with the Covid pandemic. This downturn comes at a time when the Red Cross continues to see strong demand for blood products − including platelets − by hospitals.
“The need for blood has not diminished as our country begins the process of re-opening businesses and travel,” said Jason Streger, Red Cross Donor Recruitment Account Manager in the Nashville area. “Our officers have continued to respond to a number of calls involving persons with traumatic injuries as summer travel begins to pick up. We need our donors to commit to respond to this need, as we do to daily emergencies, throughout the summer during our “Remembering the Badges” drives.”
“We rely on continuing to provide a safe and steady blood supply to our area hospitals for patients,” said Garry Allison, regional donor services executive for the Tennessee Region. “Eighty percent of all blood donated is from blood drives across the nation. We need our donors to commit to respond to this need throughout the summer during our “Remembering the Badges” drives.”
The “Remembering the Badges” marks a 13-year partnership with the Red Cross and is one of the largest-sponsored blood drives in Tennessee. Supporting law enforcement and fire personnel, while helping to save lives through blood donation, is a long-standing tradition.
“We are so proud to join our partner, Ascension Saint Thomas, in again supporting the Music City Remembering the Badges blood drive,” said Titans Sr. Vice President, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Gil Beverly. “Blood donation is a key need in our community right now, particularly as our battle against COVID-19 continues on, and we hope our support encourages Titans fans to answer the call. We also want to acknowledge the thousands of lives lost twenty years ago on Sept. 11, 2001 and thank our local first responders for joining together to honor their memories.”
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 to help treat seriously ill patients, the Red Cross mission never stops.
The Red Cross currently faces a critical need for blood donations as hospitals are making the tough decisions to postpone surgeries as the blood on the shelves dwindles.
“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 Lisa Dixson 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.”
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days and Power Reds can be donated every 112 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. In most states, individuals who are 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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 need to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood drive safety precautions
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and added precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for staff and volunteers – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are encouraged to wear a mask during donation.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: rememberingthebadges 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.
Blood and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
Upcoming Remembering the Badges Blood Drive locations:
Friday, Sept. 10:
7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Music City Drive at Cornerstone Church, 726 W Old Hickory Blvd, Madison, TN 37115
About Ascension Saint Thomas
Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2020, Ascension provided $2.4 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Ascension includes more than 160,000 associates and 40,000 aligned providers. The national health system operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 139 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia, while providing a variety of services including clinical and network services, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or follow us on Twitter at @RedCross.