Rialto’s Battle of the Badges Blood Drive benefits Red Cross

IECN photo Maryjoy Duncan: The 6th Annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive took place on Wednesday at the Rialto Community Center. Pictured clockwise from front: Laura Owens, Police Dept. Intern Eriberto Varela, and city employee Laura Cardenas.
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Fire and Police have come together once again in friendly competition during the 6th Annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive. Contrary to what the name suggests, Officer Rice noted that the event involves other city entities and departments such as Public Works, Parks & Rec. and the Rialto Unified School District.

“The goal is to inspire people to come out and donate for a good cause,” Rice explained.

The blood drive benefits the American Red Cross.

Both Rialto Fire and Police solicit individuals to participate in the event. Donors indicate which agency they are donating on behalf of, and the winner is determined by the most tallies. Rialto Police has retained the title for the past five years.

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“This is really bigger than the competition itself because we’re in a state of emergency and blood is needed,” said Rice.

According to Red Cross officials, emergency rooms and surgical centers tend to run short of blood during and after the holidays. “Almost always during the holidays, we suffer a serious shortage,” said Dr. Jerry Squires, chief medical officer for the American Red Cross.

Last year there were 40 viable donations, up 10 from the previous year.  Final count on this year’s event was not ready at the time of publication. Blood donations took place all day at the Rialto Community Center.

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