On Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sparks Fire held its fourth annual Battle of the Badges, a blood drive competition between the Sparks fire and police departments. However, this year the event was less of a competition and more of a coming together to celebrate the memory of beloved former Sparks Fire Chief Andy Flock.
“It was held at Sparks City Hall and we had a really good turnout. It’s always a friendly competition on who can donate the most blood, but we called a truce this year in memory of Andy Flock. He was just a great leader and inspiration,” says Sparks Fire Department Division Chief Shawn McEvers.
The Battle of the Badges Blood Drive had 79 donors who contributed 93 pints of blood in memory of Andy Flock, which can save the lives of 223 hospital patients in need. Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen gave blood along with Sparks City Councilmen Kristopher Dahir and Donald Abbott.
United Blood Services administered the blood drive and this was the first event that Donor Recruitment Representative Corry King had done in memory of someone.
“It was a fantastic turnout, the community did a great job of rallying around the cause,” King says. “The police and fire departments came together and it became a battle of saving lives. One pint of blood can save three lives and it was fantastic to see the community come together in memory of Chief Flock,” she adds.
“It was great to be able to have all of the public agencies come together for a common cause and celebrate a great man,” says McEvers.
“It was a lot of fun and just so nice to see everyone come out. (Giving blood) is a fantastic way to give back to the community,” King adds.