WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Battle of the Badges blood drive kicked off Monday.

The annual event, now in its 27th year, is a friendly competition between law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS from the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County to see who can recruit the most blood and platelet donors.

The campaign to give blood has collected over 30,000 donations over its lifetime, according to Michelle Janse, the regional donor services executive for Kansas and Oklahoma.

Last year, firefighters won the competition.

“The winner of the battle gets to have a trophy and bragging rights for a whole year,” said Janse. “And I’m sure there’s some of you in the room who are really quite tired as fire has been bragging for the last year.

According to Janse, donations tend to decrease this time of year.

“People get busy, the holiday season, all kinds of things are going on,” said Janse. “So it’s an example of why we need these donations right now. Also, school is out of session, so we do collect a fair amount of blood at school.

To donate blood at the American Red Cross for the Battle of the Badges, you can make an appointment by clicking here.