MENOMONIE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Menomonie Police and Fire Departments are competing to see who can collect the most units of blood.

The Battle of the Badges Blood Drive took place Thursday at the Stout Craft Kitchen & Tap House.

According to the American Red Cross, donated blood has a shelf life of 42 days, but people can only donate every 56 days, which means there is almost always a blood shortage.

Events like Thursday’s Blood Drive help close that gap.

“It’s very nice to show appreciation to your local first responders because, you know, fighting for all of our lives every day, doing everything they can. So this is good for showing them appreciation as well as good for the community to bring in those donations we need to help bring out the blood we need for the hospitals,” Brett Weisdack, Red Crosse Phlebotomist, said.

To find a location near you and to schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit the American Red Cross website, HERE.