December 13, 2021 - The 27th annual Battle of the Badges competition returns to Fort Wayne this December and the community is invited to give with meaning this holiday season with local police, fire and EMS personnel by giving blood with the American Red Cross from December 15 to 20. 

The Allen County Battle of the Badges is the longest-running blood donation competition of its kind in the country, with this year’s goal to save more than 700 lives through donations. Donors can schedule their appointments by visiting and use sponsor code “fwbattle”, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

When donors come to give blood during the campaign, participants can vote for either police/highway patrol or firefighters/EMS to win the competition. Participants will also receive an American Red Cross t-shirt and a Pizza Hut coupon, while supplies last.    

This good-natured rivalry among first responder groups helps ensure the blood supply keeps pace with demand during the holidays. Groups participating this year include: Fort Wayne Police Department, Allen County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, Fort Wayne Fire Department and Three Rivers Ambulance Authority. Battle of the Badges is also supported by ABC21 WPTA, Adams Radio Group of Fort Wayne and Pizza Hut.


The campaign will kick off with a special event Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 5:00 a.m. with representatives from local police and fire organizations giving blood at the Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center. The community is invited to join them.

The winter holiday season is one of the most challenging periods of the year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood and platelet donations. Busy schedules and inclement weather often mean fewer blood donations. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused challenges with finding available blood drive locations. However, the need for blood is constant. Every day, regardless of the season, hospital patients need blood or platelets for cancer treatments, lifesaving surgeries, or emergency care related to accidents or trauma.

To make an appointment to donate, contact the Red Cross at and use sponsor code “fwbattle”, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

Battle of the Badges donation locations and hours:

Fort Wayne Donation Center
1212 E. California Road in Fort Wayne, (across from the Memorial Coliseum)

Wednesday 12/15:      7am-7pm

Thursday 12/16:          10:30am-7pm

Friday 12/17:               6:30am-2:30pm

Saturday 12/18:          6:30am-2:30pm

Sunday 12/19:             6:30am-2:30pm

Monday 12/20:            7:30am-7pm

Lutheran Hospital Donation Center

7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 107 in Fort Wayne (in the South Lobby of Lutheran Hospital)

Wednesday 12/15:      Closed

Thursday 12/16:          10:30am-6:30pm

Friday 12/17:               8am-4pm

Saturday 12/18:          6am-2pm

Sunday 12/19:             6am-2pm

Monday 12/20:            12pm-8pm

How to donate blood

Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.