(Fargo, ND) -- Saving lives and helping others is a top priority for Fargo first responders, so that's why on June 1st and 2nd the Fargo Fire and Police Departments will be using that lifesaving priority to raise awareness about the importance of blood donations and help bolster the blood supply by sponsoring the annual Battle of the Badges blood drive at the American Red Cross Fargo office off 12th Street North from 1 to 7 p.m.

“Giving blood is one of the greatest gifts one person can give to another,” said Steven Dirksen, Fire Chief, Fargo Fire Department. “Donated blood is used in multiple ways and affects the lives of people who receive it, from a trauma patient, to a person with a bleeding disorder, to a cancer patient. We all in some way have been affected by the lifesaving gift of blood donations. Please join us in donating.”

The Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition to encourage community members to join their local first responders and perform their own heroic act with a blood donation. All who come to donate will have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite first responder department to determine who will have bragging rights for the upcoming year.

"Giving blood is a great way for you to make a difference and help another member of your community when they need it the most," said Sgt. Jerrod Wagner, Fargo Police Department.

All presenting donors will receive their choice of a coupon for six free wings at Buffalo Wild Wings or a coupon for a free donut from Sandy’s Donuts. In addition, as thanks for helping meet patient needs at a challenging time of year, all who come to give May 28th-June 13th will receive a limited-edition Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.  

Individuals of all blood types are urged to schedule an appointment now to give blood, and in most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

Appointments can be made by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, clicking here or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and using sponsor code: Fargo Battle.