First responders recruit blood donations in Battle of the Badges

A showdown between Lincoln’s finest. The Lincoln Police Department and Lincoln Fire and Rescue are going head-to-head in a blood donation Battle of the Badges. Whoever gets the most people to donate wins; loser has to wash, by hand, the winner’s cruiser or fire truck.

"I look forward to watching Chief Despain and whoever he brings with him do their best to try and make our cruisers look as good as they can," said LPD Chief Jeff Bliemeister.

"What I’m worried about is the safety of Chief Bliemeister on a very hot day when he has to clean a 700,000 dollar behemoth of a fire truck," said LFR Chief Michael Despain.

It’s well-timed. The Nebraska Community Blood Bank says they’re facing a serious blood shortage, with an urgent need for O-Negative, A-Negative, and B-Negative blood.

"It’s another way that those who live here can contribute to the overall safety," said Bliemeister.

Despain agreed.

"Our job is to save lives every day, and sometimes that’s in a state of emergency, and sometimes it’s what we can do in advance, preparing for an emergency," he said.

The kick-off is Friday, July 21st, in Tower Square at 13th and Q from 9 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Then there’s another chance to give Tuesday, August 15th, from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at 9th and K. And last chance is Tuesday, August 29th, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Sam’s Club near 84th and Highway 2.

Both chiefs say that no matter who gets the most votes, the real winner will be lives saved by the donations.

"It’s fun being in Lincoln because there’s definitely that police fire friendliness, now just like sibling rivalry there’s a little bit of that friendly banter and that’s fine, we love that," Despain said. "We know that when there’s an emergency they have our back and we have theirs."