Once again squaring off for blood donations and bragging rights, Sherman police and firefighters will go head-to-head for the annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive.

The Thursday and Friday event to benefit the Texoma Regional Blood Center places emergency personnel against each other to raise the most blood donations. Francis Campbell, TRBC director of donor resources, said that while the summer is a busy time for police and firefighters, it’s also a time when blood inventory is low.

“So this is just a good way to recognize them and to help us out at the same time,” Campbell said.

Blood donors during these two days will be given a ticket that they can place in a bucket for the police or firefighters, and the tickets will be tallied at the end of the event. The department with the most tickets will be awarded a trophy, which the firefighters took home last year, though the police claimed it the prior year.

Last year’s blood drive yielded a total of 129 units, which helped the center get through a high demand time of year. Campbell noted that inventory is currently low on A-positive and O-Positive, and local hospitals have been going through a lot of blood recently.

Campbell said with schools shuttered — the sites of regular drives — and many people away on vacation, there’s a downfall in donations. So events like the Battle of the Badges help negate that downfall.

“The events are a necessity to try to get people involved — just to bring in the donors so that way we can actually keep our inventory levels up,” Campbell said.

For those who have never donated blood, Campbell said there’s a slight pinch. But any pain that may be involved is surmounted by the feeling of knowing the blood is going to help somebody, she said. And there’s also a special T-shirt, which she noted is gray instead of white this year.

“You’re helping your family members, your neighbors, anybody in your community that’s going to need this blood,” Campbell said. “This blood stays here in the hospitals that we serve. It doesn’t go anywhere else. You are actually helping everybody in the community you live within.”

The Thursday drive will be held outside the Central Fire Station at 318 S. Travis St., and on Friday, it will be in the west parking lot of the Grayson County Courthouse. The drive runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days.

The Denison Battle of the Badges is set to take place the following week on July 27-28, and the Bonham Battle of the Badges will occur on Aug. 10-11.

“I’m really hoping the community will just get involved, and realize how much the blood center is an asset to this community and to our patients that are here,” Campbell said.