Battle of the Badges Begins

You can join Salina’s first responders, the men and women who step into fires, crime scenes and crises of all sorts to serve and protect by participating in the Battle of the Badges. First responders are partnering with the American Red Cross for the annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive.

Join in as the Salina Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and EMS Department to see who can recruit the most blood donors in this year’s battle scheduled this week Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at Sunrise Presbyterian Church, 825 E. Beloit.  All those coming to give blood will receive a FREE Battle of the Badges T-shirt, while supplies last and can cast a vote to help determine this year’s Battle of the Badges Blood Drive winner

The Red Cross has an emergency need for lifesaving blood amid the ongoing severe blood shortage. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked through the summer season. To thank donors who help ensure a strong blood supply this month, all who come to donate throughout August will receive a free 4-month special offer to Apple Music by email (new subscribers only). More details are available at

“Thanks to these first responders for not only keeping the community safe, but also helping with blood collection this summer,” said Teri Novotny, Kansas and Oklahoma Red Cross account manager. “The Battle of the Badges Blood Drive offers a way for Salina residents to support our local heroes and help save lives by giving blood.”

Make an appointment to give blood at the 2021 Salina Battle of the Badges Blood Drive by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 Health insights for donors

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet, and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at

Blood drive safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

About blood donation

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.