HERKIMER — Nearly an hour into the initial Battle of the Badges, the Herkimer Police Department had a slight edge over the Herkimer Fire Department in its competition to have the most blood donors — 5 to 4, respectively.
A poster board propped up at Michael J. Pliseck Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 4915 Thursday afternoon showed the number of donors each team had gotten over the past hour. There was still five hours left to go and line of people sat waiting to make their own donations at the door.
"The reality of it is it doesn’t matter who wins," said Herkimer Police Chief Michael Jory during the event. "It’s about getting donations."
Jory and Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner said the idea to have a competition between the departments to raise blood donations was brought to them by Amy Bobbette, of the American Red Cross.
"We thought it was a great idea," said Jory.
Jory said when the departments agreed to participate, the American Red Cross handled much of the legwork involved with setting up the event.
"It’s a great thing for the community to do," said Spanfelner. "The demand [for blood donations] is so high right now. Anything that will spark an interest for donations will help."
Jory said the goal for the event was to raise 56 units of blood.
"Obviously, we’re looking to blow that out of the water," he said.
It wasn’t known as of deadline which department won or how many units of blood were donated.
According to the Red Cross website, the organization "provides about 40 percent of our nation’s blood and blood components, all from generous volunteer donors. But supply can’t always meet demand because only about 10 percent of eligible people donate blood yearly."