Bonham first responders will once again face off for blood donations and bragging rights during the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Thursday and Friday.


From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., donors can give blood outside the Fannin County Courthouse and choose whether their donations are tallied for the fire department or the police department. The department that garners the most donations takes home the trophy. The event is to support the Texoma Regional Blood Center, which is in critical need of blood.


“These events, we put them together that way we can keep up with the demand of the hospitals during the summer time,” TRBC Director of Donor Resources Francis Campbell said. “All of the units we have collected from the Sherman and Denison battles are gone.”


At the end of last month, Sherman and then Denison hosted Battle of the Badges blood drives. In Sherman, 122 units of blood were collected, and 85 units were donated in Denison. Despite these donations, Campbell said the center’s supply is again low.


“We’re still in need — we still had to import blood from other blood centers to keep up,” Campbell said. “We just need people to come out just to stock our shelves to get us through.”


The Bonham Battle of the Badges last year was a one-day event that saw a total of 55 pints of blood collected. The Bonham Police Department took home the trophy, something Police Chief Mike Bankston said is going to happen.


“The blood bank is always there for us and Fannin County, so we want to do what we can to help them,” Bankston said. “… No matter who wins the trophy, it all goes for a good cause.”


Fire Chief Brad Nichols said his department plans to reclaim the award, but what’s more important is the blood.


“It’s a minor inconvenience for the person donating, but it can save a life — make a world of a difference for somebody else’s life down the road,” Nichols said.


Campbell said the competition aspect of the drive helps get more people involved in this blood drive, which is important during the summer as the center’s go-to location for blood is unavailable.


“When high school season starts, normally we’re not in critical need because we have the high schools we’re going to, so this is just a good way to try and get people to come out,” Campbell said.


Nichols noted that this drive brings in more emergency personnel to donate, and the competition aspect also helps build relationships between the departments.


“Just that friendly competition between the two departments helps build bridges there and better working relationships,” Nichols said.