Bismarck holds annual Battle of the Badges blood drive

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The Battle of the Badges is a three-day event that is hoping to have 100 people donate a pint of blood each.
Tuesday, it was the officers themselves who were giving blood.

“My mom needed a blood transfusion when she was having my younger brother,” said firefighter Tony Lafond.

“Just one bag of blood can serve 97 newborn babies. That’s just an amazing number right there,” said officer Caitlin Horne.

Lafond is a first-time blood donor.

He said he wants to save lives in a way that’s different than putting out fires.

“I want to help people, and it’s what I do every day. Doing this can help me help people around the nation,” Lafond said.

Vitalant Donor Recruitment Representative Colleen Scott said some of the blood supply is used for cancer, trauma and organ transplant patients.

“Usage goes up during those long holiday weekends, and we’re just trying to replenish to keep a safe supply on the shelf,” Scott said.

Horne is a regular blood donor and has a personal reason for donating blood.

“A friend of mine passed away from cancer, needed blood, a couple of blood transfusions while she was in surgery,” Horne said.

The goal for this week’s blood donation collection effort is 100 units of blood per day.

Tuesday, however, there were 21 people signed up and five people who had walked in.

The first responders are hoping they will help to draw in more recruits.

“It was a guy that I had seen required massive blood transfusion every couple of weeks,” Lafond said.

The blood drive will continue through Thursday at the Kirkwood Mall from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

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