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Battle of Badges blood drive heats up
Battle of badges file
Blood donors wait their turn in front of the blood mobile earlier this year during a Battle of the Badges blood drive held behind the Liberty County Justice Center. - photo by File photo

Dozens of area residents presented to donate at Friday’s Battle of the Badges blood drive, according to Laura Troutman, Liberty County human-resources specialist and health-promotion leader.  
“Despite the crazy heat, we had an amazing turnout of donors and volunteers.  The Red Cross collected a total of 43 units of blood, which has the potential to affect the lives of up to 129 people.  That doesn’t even include the dozen more who tried to donate but were ineligible for various reasons,” Troutman said. “Representatives from the sheriff’s office, Hinesville PD, Liberty Fire and Liberty EMS came by throughout the day, and I truly appreciated their support.”
After tallying all the votes, Troutman said it’s turning out to be a close battle. The sheriff’s office had 17 donors, the fire department had 15, EMS has 15 and the police had 7.
Although the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office won round three of the Battle of the Badges, the “war” is not over. The fourth and final battle round, hosted by the city of Hinesville, will be held later this fall. The votes cast at the final drive will determine the overall winner for the year. So far, the overall standings have the fire department in the lead with 45 donors, the sheriff’s office has 43, EMS has 25 and the police have 24.
The competition has local police departments, the sheriff’s office, firefighters and EMS workers compete to see who can recruit the most people in their communities to donate blood. All presenting donors will cast a vote to help decide the winner of this year’s competition, which began in February.
During the first three Battle of the Badges drives in Liberty County, 137 units of blood were collected.  
“The Battle of the Badges in Liberty County has been, to date, the most successful in our district, which covers 27 counties in the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire,” American Red Cross Coastal District Manager Dean Smith said.

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