BEAVERCREEK, Ohio – Beavercreek Township firefighters were on a roll going into the Aug. 29 “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive.” They were back-to-back winners over their rival police. Volunteers from the BTFD auxiliary had filled up the blood drive schedule, and they were also filling bowls in the Donor Café with award-winning firehouse chili. But before they could celebrate, the cops blew the whistle.
Beavercreek Police pulled out a 61-57 upset victory, halting the firefighters win streak in the third annual “Battle of the Badges” at Peace Lutheran Church. The tight competition helped boost the blood drive to its strongest showing with 126 total donors, 19 first-time donors, and 99 blood donations for 118 percent of the collection goal.
“As much as it pains me to say this, congratulations to the BPD for winning the third annual Battle of the Badges!” said Pat Cochran from the BTFD auxiliary, who joined forces with Dan Jessup from Peace Lutheran Church to coordinate the blood drive.
“We love our firefighters but we love our heroes in blue as well!” Pat said. “They did a really good job for us and we’re all happy for them. Our efforts paid off in a big way for future blood recipients. “
“Our folks are happy to help, and we look forward to it,” said Dan Jessup. “Our theme is service to the community. We have the same goals and are part of the same service.”
The common goal of public safety and service makes it hard for donors to decide how to vote. “I usually alternate year after year,” said Jean Mueller after her 61st lifetime donation. “I voted police last year.”
It’s also difficult for the officers and firefighters to vote, because if they are on duty they can’t donate. Officer Mark Brown’s vote with his milestone 10th donation turned out to be crucial to his team’s narrow victory. “I thought when I got off my shift I would take a shot and see if they could work me in,” he said. “It worked out perfectly.”
The firefighters had a clear advantage in the culinary battle in the Donor Café. The donuts representing the cops were no match for the firehouse chili prepared by Brittany McDufford. Her husband Mike is a firefighter and his chili recipe had placed third in the fire department competition, but Brittany’s recipe won first place.
“It’s the first time we entered,” she said, giving credit to her young son J.C. for helping, and to their secret ingredient. “We made it with love!” she said.
The chili was a tasty crowd pleaser, but donors like Doug Spraley had to come up with a more difficult rationale for the Battle of the Badges vote. He made this 67th lifetime donation and voted for the police.
“It’s a tough choice with those two,” he said. “They both run to danger. The paramedics go in to save lives. I’ll vote for police because they get the ball rolling. They have to get their first and make sure it’s safe for everybody else.”
Now with a Battle of the Badges vote turning in their favor, the ‘Creek cops are on a roll of their own.