Red Cross teams up with first responders for blood drive competition

ROANOKE,Va. – First responders in Roanoke are helping to save lives on and off the job.

For the first time, Roanoke police officers are facing off against Roanoke Fire and EMS crews to see who can get the most blood donated in their organization's name.

It’s all part of today's battle of the badges blood drive which was held at the American Red Cross donor center.

Blood donors had to book an appointment and donate to either group in order to get a free T-shirt.

"This is a fun event today, to really draw awareness to the need for blood. This is a difficult time as we head into summer with the number of blood drives that will go down,” said Executive Director of American Red Cross of Roanoke Valley Jackie Grant. 

The drive's goal is to gain 40 units of blood and it will be open until 6 p.m., Tuesday, at the Red Cross center at 352 church Ave.