Montagne Wins McPherson's "Battle of the Badges"

By Jolyn Johnston-Myers
October 11, 2016
photo by Anne Kirchner, McPherson CVB

The Battle of the Badges is a friendly competition each year for local fire fighters, police officers, and EMS paramedics who compete to see who can get the most people to donate blood on their behalf at a Red Cross blood drive.

“The Battle of the Badges is a campaign where we partner with local first responders,” explained Tia Bodine, Account Manager for the American Red Cross in Wichita. “And depending on the division, whoever recruits the most donors receives bragging rights and also the traveling trophy.”

Bodine came to McPherson yesterday to publicly honor this year’s winner of the Battle of the Badges at the weekly city commission meeting.

“This year, the first responder who received the most donors donating on their behalf was Jerry Montagne with the McPherson Police Department,” Bodine formally announced to the city commissioners and the public audience. “Jerry had 46 donors donate on his behalf, and you alone, Jerry, helped save 138 lives,” said Bodine, addressing Lt. Montagne directly. “So we greatly appreciate you for that.”

For the overall results of this year’s Battle of the Badges, the McPherson Fire Department had 29 votes, EMS had 32, and the McPherson Police Department won the competition with 59 votes.

“I’d like to thank the community for the backing of the blood drive,” Bodine said. “It’s what makes it so successful. Especially Ron Horn with Dairy Queen,” she added, “And then also Wendy’s was generous and donated chili this year.”

Bodine went on to share that the Red Cross collected 124 units of blood the first day of the blood drive and 52 units the second, for a total of 176 units of donated blood.

“And that’s a total of 528 lives that were saved because of the generous donors in McPherson,” said Bodine.

“We just want to thank all of you who donated, those that helped recruit, and then also those that sponsored the blood drive.

“Thank you again.”

The next Red Cross blood drive in McPherson County will be October 28 from noon to 6:00 pm at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, 111 Pine in Inman; and October 31 from noon to 6:00 pm at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 119 N. Elm in McPherson. 

Photo Caption: Tia Bodine with Lt. Jerry Montagne and McPherson Police Chief Rob McClarty.