Battle of the Badges blood donation challenge begins Thursday

(ABC 6 News) – First responders choose their careers for many reasons with one being to save lives. 

The Battle of the Badges blood donation challenge returns for its sixth year to help promote the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program. The challenge begins Thursday, June 1 and runs through Aug. 31.

The challenge supports Olmsted County’s first responders from Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service, fire departments in Rochester, Byron and Stewartville, the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office and Rochester Police Department.

The first responders are split into three teams — Team Ambulance, Team Fire and Team Law Enforcement — all vying to see who can bring in the most blood donations.

The goal of this fun and friendly challenge is to save lives through blood donation and build community relationships and awareness about donating blood and blood products.

Anyone from the community who is 16 or older can donate blood on behalf of one of the three teams in the challenge.

The Rochester Fire Department will kick-off the challenge on Thursday by holding a blood drive event from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Station 2, located at 2185 Wheelock Dr. NE. For appointment times and scheduling, call 507-284-4475.

Blood can also be donated at the following two Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program locations:

Hilton Building, First Floor
210 Second Street SW
Rochester, MN  55902

Saint Marys Campus
Joseph Building, M-86
1216 Second Street SW
Rochester, MN  55902

Team Law Enforcement won the challenge in 2022 with 277 blood donations. Collectively, Olmsted County first responders provided 678 blood donations over the three month challenge.

RELATED: Olmsted County Law Enforcement wins Battle of the Badges blood donation challenge

Every six minutes, a patient at Mayo Clinic needs a transfusion of blood or blood products. A simple blood donation can save the life of a child with leukemia, restore the strength of a cancer patient, or provide a critical transfusion to an accident victim.