DAYTON, Ohio – There’s a new sheriff in town thanks to the inaugural “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive” between fire and law enforcement students in the Public Safety and Justice Career Community at Sinclair Community College. A Fire Science student designed the unique traveling trophy, but law enforcement took it home after winning the challenge by three votes.
Everyone who registered to donate at the Aug. 31 blood drive in the campus library received a poker chip to place in the ballot jars for fire or law enforcement. Law enforcement won the trophy, but the joint effort helped boost the blood drive with 47 donors participating, including 15 first-time donors and 35 donations for 97 percent of the collection goal.
The friendly competition added extra incentive and an element of fun as SCC kicked-off the new school year with the first of four Community Blood Center blood drives scheduled at the campus library. The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is the student sponsor group for the blood drives. The 2016-17 calendar includes blood drives on Dec. 7, Feb. 2, and April 19.
“I was inspired by going to “Battle of Badges” blood drives in the community,” said Criminal Justice Instructor Angela Fernandez. “We’d like to get our students to get to know each other before they start their careers. They don’t get a chance to interact, but they will eventually work in the field together. Having this interaction and support is very important.”
“They’ve been talking about it,” said Fire Science Technology Assistant Professor Laura Walker. “Our department instructors give each other a hard time. It’s a little bit of a rivalry and everybody likes a friendly competition.”
Fire Science Technology student Tony Bidlack is a paramedic who also owns Channel View Awards. He put together the “Battle of the Badges” trophy by outfitting the award with out-of-service training items, including a fire house nozzle, oxygen tank, body armor vest and a training pistol.
Who would win the trophy depended in part on which team could recruit more donors. An easy vote came from machinery instructor Rick Crouch who made his milestone 25th lifetime donation at the blood drive. Rick served 30 years as a firefighter and paramedic with the New Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department. “It’s a good guess I’ll be voting for the fire students,” he said.
Student William Cramer made his fifth lifetime donation at the blood drive. He was drawn to the event because he’s considering a public safety career. “My grandma was a paramedic,” he said.
Student Andrew Schwieterman is a regular at the SCC blood drives and made his eighth lifetime donation at the blood drive, the equivalent of one gallon. Getting a chance to vote for fellow students with his donation was a nice surprise. “It’s always a tough choice between both of these,” he said. “Both are invaluable.”