First responders to hold 13th annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive  Feb. 22

Press release from the Red Cross

The American Red Cross and Asheville’s first responders are partnering for the 13th annual Battle of the Badges blood drive competition. Community members are invited to join local first responders to help save lives. The friendly face off happens on Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St., in Asheville.

Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition between the Asheville Fire Department, Asheville Police Department, Buncombe County Emergency Medical Service, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Presenting donors will vote for their favorite agency before they donate, and the winning team of first responders is announced at the end of the blood drive and will be awarded with the traveling Battle of the Badges Trophy.

“Year after year, the Asheville community has shown up in support of first responders who witness firsthand the importance of a readily available blood supply,” said Mariana Vimbela, executive director, Western North Carolina chapter. “We are grateful to our partner agencies who help organize this blood drive and the local donors who honor emergency personnel by giving blood. The support of the local community has grownAsheville’s Battle of the Badges to be recognized as the largest single-day blood drive bringing together local law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency personnel in North Carolina.”

More donors are needed to make appointments now to help ensure accident victims, cancer patients and new mothers experiencing complicated childbirths have access to lifesaving blood product transfusions without delay. To schedule an appointment, visit, enter sponsor code avlbattleofbadges or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

All who come to give blood or platelets Feb. 1-28, 2023, will receive a $10 Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon. *  As a thank you, presenting donors will also receive a Battle of the Badges t-shirt for supporting this potentially lifesaving event. Battle of the Badges t-shirts will be given away while supplies last. In addition, food will be provided from local restaurants and vendors.

Florida Getaway Giveaway (Feb. 1-28, 2023): Those who come to give blood, platelets or AB Elite plasma Feb. 1-28, 2023, will also automatically be entered to win a trip for two to Florida, including round-trip airfare, a three-night stay at the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach and a $100 voucher for the resort’s Ocean Hai restaurant, plus a $70 gift card for expenses.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit 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 in most states (16 with parental consent in Pennsylvania and New Jersey), 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

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 or use the Blood Donor App.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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