Avon Police, Firefighters Compete to Donate the Most Blood

On a typical day you can find them fighting fires or fighting crime, but on Friday you could find members of the Avon volunteer fire and police departments saving lives in a different way.

The town welcomed its sixth annual "Battle of the Badges" to benefit the American Red Cross.

"I am here to donate blood to the American red cross," said volunteer firefighter Jim Speich. "I am also here to make sure the department wins this competition."

The friendly back-and-forth gives the traditional blood drive a twist by attaching bragging rights to the team that can bring in the most blood.

While the coveted "Battle of the Badges" trophy is up for grabs again this year, organizers say it's less about the competition and more about the cause.

"Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The blood that is collected today helps in the case of emergencies so it is on the shelves whenever and wherever patients need [it]," said Christie Auletta with the American Red Cross.

Auletta says the goal of this drive is to collect upwards of 100 pints and the departments promise each one will go a long way.

"One pint of blood can save up to three lives and it only takes an hour of time, so it is a quick simple way to give back," said volunteer firefighter Jenn Resser.

As the saying goes, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, and in the "Battle of the Badges," it might actually save someone instead.

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