Battle of the Badges helping ease blood shortage

NORFOLK, Neb. - The first responders of Norfolk held their annual Battle of the Badges on Friday.

The competition between the Police and Fire Departments of Norfolk aims to donate as much blood as possible. Volunteers who came out to donate will register to the American Red Cross and then choose one of the departments.

Whichever organization is selected by the volunteer will receive credit for the donation. The competition is a fun way to bring attention to the need for blood donors.

According to the Red Cross, the United States is in desperate need of blood donations. An increase in trauma cases, organ transplants, and elective surgeries has taken place has depleted its supply. While all blood types are needed, the very rare type O blood is the most sought after.

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank has announced its own blood emergency in a press release. 

“There’s a nationwide shortage,” said Cheryl Warholoski, Director of Operations in the release. “We currently have only a 3-day supply of blood to offer to more than 20 local hospitals. The long-term impact of the pandemic has meant we’ve had a year of virtually no high school or college first-time donors, and 41% fewer donors between the ages of 17-24.”

Donations are available year-round for those wishing to give their blood. Locations for the Red Cross can be found on their website as well as on The Nebraska Community Blood Bank website.