The North Platte Fire Department and local law enforcement agencies had a friendly competition at the 10th annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Monday.
In all, 74 pints of blood were donated, with 17 would-be donors having to be deferred. People may be deferred from donating blood due to medication, health problems, travels or personal history.
The Fire Department competed against law enforcement to see who could get the most votes from people donating blood.
The law enforcement team eked out a victory, 46-45. Law enforcement leads the series having won seven of 10 times since the event started.
The law enforcement team consisted of the North Platte Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Mayor Dwight Livingston and Deputy Fire Marshal Mike McConnell were among the people in the Ramada Inn ballroom giving their blood Monday.
“This is really nice where we can have both law enforcement and firefighters out here,” McConnell said. “We see people who need blood on a daily basis, and what we are doing for the community is the most important thing about this.”
McConnell, who donates blood every year for the event, said it was an awesome event and is always a friendly competition.
“It is also nice for all of us to come out here, and we get to see each other in a more relaxed situation than out on the field, or packing up a patient on the interstate,” McConnell said.
The Fire Department is at a disadvantage having only one agency involved, compared with law enforcement’s three, but they have to give them a win so the event can keep happening each year, McConnell said while laughing.
Livingston also gives blood every year at the Battle of the Badges.
“I look forward to this every year,” Livingston said. “The blood is really important, but it is also about the camaraderie between fire and law enforcement. They like to banter back and forth, it’s all very good.”
The people in North Platte are very giving, Livingston said, which helps with events like Battle of the Badges.
“I feel good being able to give blood and help people out,” Livingston said.