June 22—CLARKSVILLE — There were no empty seats in the house Wednesday afternoon at the Clarksville Community Center.
It’s a good thing for the American Red Cross because first responders and residents came out to donate blood.
The annual “Battle of the Badges” blood drive allows donors to choose whether they would like the police or fire department to get credit for their donation. Whoever receives the most donations wins.
“I think it’s good to have events like this, first of all for obvious reasons, it raises awareness and also helps those in need,” said Detective Corporal John Miller of the Department of Clarksville police and public information officer.
“We do it every year to raise awareness, even though we say it’s a competition, it’s really about teaming up to make it happen and giving (to the Red Cross) l positive benefit of doing so.”
Miller said the Red Cross was facing a national blood shortage and the more people involved, the more Clarksville could help.
The Red Cross says the blood supply is still “extremely low”. People who were unable to attend the blood drive can contact the organization to schedule a time to donate.
Miller said the goal was to get as many units from the blood drive as possible. About 40 people had registered by Wednesday afternoon and people were also able to show up to donate.
Last year, about 70 people donated for the event.
Clarksville Fire Department Chief Brandon Skaggs said it’s good to be involved in this type of campaign.
“I saw one of the firefighters from Jeffersonville coming,” he said. “We get support from our neighboring mutual agencies. In reality, getting people here to donate is the most important thing. I think the badge battle adds a bit of camaraderie or positive competition.”