Team Fire is pitted against Team Law for a traveling trophy, bragging rights and a side bet where the winning team will have their vehicles washed and waxed by the losers.

Capt. Kyle Ternes who is commander of the East Division of the North Dakota Highway Patrol is taking the reigns of this year’s “Battle of the Badges” blood drive.

Team Law

He represents Team Law which includes the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Devils Lake Police Department.

Team Fire

In the Battle of the Badges the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department and the Devils Lake Rural Fire Department make up Team Fire.

The battle

Team Fire is pitted against Team Law for a traveling trophy, bragging rights and a side bet where the winning team will have their vehicles washed and waxed by the losers.

But this is one battle were everyone wins.

All you have to do is call to make an appointment to donate blood and show up - they will do the rest. The number to call is 800-917-4929. The “battle” begins Wednesday, Aug. 23 from 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., continues Thursday, Aug. 24 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. and concludes on Friday, Aug 25 from 8 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. in the Memorial Building Gym.

If you donate you will be given a free t-shirt, plus there will be grilled brats, snacks and beverages Wednesday and Thursday and rolls and juice on Friday morning.

They ask that you call ahead and make an appointment, but walk-ins are welcome, too, it just might take a little longer for those who do not have an appointment already set up.

When you come for your appointment, just let them know at the front desk if you want your donation to go towards Team Law or Team Fire. The team with the most donations at 11:45 a.m. on Friday wins possession of the enormous traveling trophy and the knowledge that they have saved several lives, no matter what team wins.

This is the fourth year of the friendly competition. In year one, Team Fire won, year two it was Team Law and year three Team Fire won. This year it’s Team Law’s turn, but you never know, maybe Team Fire will break the trend.

According to Ternes, United Blood Services needs blood this time of year because donations are normally down during the summer months.

Last year 200 people volunteered to give blood at the 2016 Battle of the Badges. Of those 200 individuals, 170 were able to give.

They’d like to see even more this year. For every unit donated, three lives, maybe more could be saved. A unit of donated blood is made up of 97 teaspoons of blood. It can take only three teaspoons to save the life of a premature baby, for example.

Each donation provides three products - whole blood, plasma and platelets.

Eighty percent of the population will at one time or another require blood products. Unfortunately only five percent of the population will donate. In North Dakota, for some reason, that figure is even lower, only two to three percent donate.

That’s why the members of Team Law and Team Fire have stepped up to sponsor this, one of the best (and most fun) blood drives in the area.

Ternes also said that without the many sponsors supporting the event, they wouldn’t be so successful, so he wanted to make sure and mention their generosity.

“We’ve got heart here in the Lake Region, we do the best we can,” Ternes said.

He is proud of the Lake Region, the volunteers, donors, sponsors and everyone on both Team Law and Team Fire for this special event.

United Blood Services, located in Minot, supplies blood products for all of North Dakota, northern South Dakota, western Minnesota and a portion of Wyoming.