The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office won the first “Battle of the Badges” blood drive Feb. 7.
The first of four local blood drives scheduled for this year pitted members of the Hinesville Police Department, the LCSO, the local Emergency Management Service and Hinesville Fire Department to see who could garner the most votes and blood donors.
The LCSO edged out the firefighters by three votes.
Liberty County Board of Commissioners human resources specialist Laura Troutman said the county normally holds two blood drives a year, one at the sheriff’s office and one at the Liberty County district attorney’s office.
She said this year, she reached out to Holly Stevens at the city of Hinesville and invited them to participate as well, implementing a challenge she heard about from American Red Cross of Southeast Georgia blood services donor recruitment representative Colleen Waldorf.
On Feb. 7, the bloodmobile was in the Liberty County Justice Center parking lot, and firefighter Anthony Satterfield dressed as American Red Cross mascot Buddy the Blood Drop.
“The turnout that we had was amazing,” Waldorf said. “The goal was (to collect 22 units), and we ended up collecting 36 units, and we were not able to accommodate everyone.”
Waldorf said deputies, police officers, EMS personnel and firefighters kept recruiting donors and had a full set of appointments for the day. After donating blood, donors voted for their favorite department.
“The community has been so forthcoming with blood donations,” Waldorf said.
She said the LCSO received 19 votes, Hinesville fire reached 16 votes, EMS had four votes and HPD received three.
Troutman said the HPD will host the second “Battle of the Badges.” She said the event tentatively is set for May 30.
Sheriff Steve Sikes said he is ready to win the next one.
“My guys are already talking about it … all the guys that couldn’t get in the other day are ready to get in line,” he said, adding that the LCSO has held blood drives for the Red Cross for the past three years.