2022 Battle of the Badges: First responders compete for a good cause

Police officers and firefighters across Northeast Florida are competing all month long to see who can donate the most blood.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Our first responders love to give back.

Police officers and firefighters across Northeast Florida are competing all month long to see which department can raise more blood donations at LifeSouth blood donor centers and blood drives.

Battle of the Badges will conclude on May 31, 2022; the winner will be announced in June.

“First responders know firsthand the importance of hospitals having ready access to blood products in the event of an emergency,” said Angela Byrd, District Director of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Northeast Florida. “We are grateful to partner with first responders across Northeast Florida in the Battle of the Badges and for their dedication and service to our community every day.”

In Florida, the state is hovering between a two- and one-day blood supply or less, according to America’s Blood Centers (ABC). Hospitals in Jacksonville are seeing an increase in blood usage for patient care, and blood donors of all types are urged to donate soon to meet the increased need.

All Battle of the Badges participants will receive a free Battle of the Badges tee shirt and a $10 e-gift card.

The winner of the competition will receive a plaque celebrating their accomplishment, as well as bragging rights. Participating organizations include Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, Baker County Sheriff’s Office, and James I. Montgomery Correctional Center.

Northeast Florida first responder organizations can register for drives throughout the month by contacting James Skahn, at 904-586-5090 or jlskahn@lifesouth.org (ASAP, time is running out!)

Participating First Responder Drives:

May 10: Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Headquarters, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

May 12: Baker County Sheriff’s Office, 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

May 13: James I. Montgomery Correctional Center, 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

May 16: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Zone 5 Substation, 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

May 16: Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Zone 6 Substation, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Donors can also participate by visiting LifeSouth’s Northeast Florida donor centers. *Special Battle of the Badges event t-shirts are not guaranteed at Julington or Fleming donor centers. Call ahead to confirm.

Where to Donate:

Northeast Florida Donor Center (7840 Baymeadows Way):

●           Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

●           Wednesday hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

●           Saturday hours: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Fleming Island Donor Center (1605 County Rd. 220, Unit 160)

●           Wednesday/Thursday/Friday hours: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

●           Saturday/Sunday hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

●           $20 e-gift card for all donors

Julington Creek Donor Center (445 SR 13, Suite 25)

●           Tuesday - Friday hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

●           Saturday hours: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

●           $20 e-gift card for all donors

LifeSouth currently supplies blood products to 70% of hospital beds in Northeast Florida. Blood donors who give with LifeSouth serve patients at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, Baptist Medical Center Nassau, Baptist Medical Center South, UF Health Jacksonville, UF Health North, HCA Florida Memorial Hospital, HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital and Wolfson Children’s Hospital.

For more information, including donor eligibility requirements, visit lifesouth.org.


About the Author:

Carianne Luter is a social media producer for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a degree in communications.