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Burnet police and fire in Battle of the Badges blood drive

We Are Blood donors

Donors can give blood and cast votes for either the Burnet Police Department or the Burnet Fire Department at the first Burnet Battle of the Badges blood drive on Aug. 27. We Are Blood, an Austin-based blood bank that serves Central Texas, will facilitate the event at the Burnet Police Station. Photo courtesy of We Are Blood

A Battle of the Badges blood drive is Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Burnet Police Station, 2000 S. Water St. Donors will be able to cast a vote for either the Burnet Police Department or the Burnet Fire Department to determine which one takes home a trophy and bragging rights.

The Austin-based blood bank We Are Blood is facilitating the event. We Are Blood serves 10 counties in Central Texas, including Burnet and Llano counties, and provides blood supplies to 40 medical facilities in the region. 

Those wishing to donate at the Battle of the Badges must register online for a specific time slot. At the time of this story’s publication, only 20 slots were left.

Burnet police officers and firefighters will vie for donors’ votes, adding some friendly competition to a necessary and worthy cause.

“We’re hoping to do good, we’re more fun,” said Deputy Fire Chief Curtis Murphey. “We have the advantage.”

A friendly rivalry has always existed between first responders, Murphey said, but both departments know how important blood donations are for the community.

The summer typically brings a rise in injuries because more people are active, Murphey said. The blood donated at the Battle of the Badges will go to nearby medical facilities and ensure an ample supply when needed. 

“Vanilla ice cream is our favorite,” said Police Chief Brian Lee, referring to an unofficial condition placed on the battle: The losing department must serve the winning department ice cream.

Lee added the condition during a meeting when he claimed that Fire Chief Mark Ingram would be serving him ice cream at the end of the competition. Lee is officially signed up to be the first person to donate at the blood drive.

“As first responders, we see a lot of stuff,” Lee said. “We see a lot of people that need this service.”