By Charly SHELTON
Since 1881, the American Red Cross has helped our country in times of crisis and in times of peace. That first aid does not come without preparation. The need for blood at donation centers is an ever-present one, and is something that many healthy people can easily donate with little inconvenience and usually taking no more than an hour every 56 days.
It is in this spirit that the Battle of the Badges returns for its 10th year to benefit the American Red Cross. This is an opportunity for all badge carrying personnel to help out the community through a friendly competition to see which organization can donate the most blood. In the Crescenta Valley, the CV Sheriff’s Station at 4554 Briggs Ave. will be taking part in the blood drive on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“[Community members] can call in and set up an appointment but if you don’t set up an appointment, you can just show up to the station. In the parking lot there’s going to be a big blood donation vehicle,” said Sgt. Cynthia Gonzales. “You fill out the paperwork handed out by the volunteers, and the nurses [from the Red Cross] will do their evaluation, and then they take the blood.”
Community members who are in good health, have not donated blood in the last 56 days and have eaten regularly while drinking lots of water that day are encouraged to come to the station to donate a pint of blood. There are other criteria for donating a double unit of blood, but patients need to be prescreened for that donation type before the event. Sgt. Gonzales is hoping for 50 donations from members of the community but is expecting about 30 donations, as this has been the average at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff Station over the last 10 years.
“[Donating blood is important because] it helps the local community. Huntington Memorial [holds its own] blood drive, but they only have so much blood,” said Sgt. Gonzales. “So let’s say we had a major disaster, the blood that’s banked helps our local community. Or when someone gets in an accident, the blood’s there. If deputies are involved in an incident, the blood’s there. It’s just so it’s available.”
The American Red Cross blood donation vehicle will be on-site to collect donations, and the blood will be dispersed to local hospitals including Huntington Memorial in times of need, Sgt. Gonzales said.
For more information or to schedule a blood drive appointment, contact Sgt. Gonzales at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff Station at (818) 236-4019. For more information on the Battle of the Badges, visit RedCrossBattleoftheBadges.org.