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Battle of the Badges: Team Law vs. Team Fire

Team Edward versus Team Jacob. Team Gale versus Team Peeta. Team Law versus Team Fire.

These pop culture rivalries are among the most iconic of the 21st century.

While the other duke it out on the silver screen, Team Law and Team Fire will fight for blood down the hall from the movie theater at Prairie Hills Mall on Monday and Tuesday.

Battle of the Badges pits Team Law, representing Dickinson Police Department, Stark County Sheriff's Office and area North Dakota Highway Patrol against Team Fire, representing Dickinson Fire Department, Dickinson Rural Fire Department and other area fire departments in a mêlée for blood donations that go to United Blood Services of North Dakota, and then to those in need.

"Both sides of law and fire are so supportive when it comes to this event," said Amy Beehler, donor recruitment representative from United Blood Services North Dakota, Bismarck. "We're very fortunate."

The event, which usually takes place in late September or early October, was moved forward because there is a need for blood in the area, Beehler said.

"Blood usage has been up statewide since March," she said. "We have been increasing the amount of blood we've drawn every month since March."

This will be the sixth year for the event, Beehler said. Team Fire has won all but one.

"We start out strong, we're always way ahead of the fire department but they seem to rally late in the fourth and get their volunteer firemen out there," said DPD Capt. Joe Cianni. "Everybody loves the firemen for some reason."

On Monday night, representatives from Team Law and Team Fire will race remote control cars, Beehler said. On Tuesday, they compete in "Minute to Win It"-type events. The competitions begin at 5:30 p.m. both nights.

"It's friendly rivalry," DFD Chief Bob Sivak said. "Sometimes we jab at each other pretty hard, but it's a friendly rivalry between us and law enforcement."

Those wishing to donate blood must be at least 16 years of age, but those under 18 will need parental consent, Beehler said. Donors also must weigh at least 110 pounds.

There are fewer restrictions on donors than there have been in past years, she said. Previously those with tattoos or piercings had to wait a year before donating blood, but if done in a regulated state, which North Dakota is, the wait time is completely eliminated.

Certain travel restrictions have been lifted, she said. It was that those who had traveled outside the U.S. were ineligible to give blood. While some countries are still restricted, they are fewer in number and Beehler encouraged potential donors to stop by and check the qualifications.

The canines on the police force will be at the mall, along with McGruff the Crime Dog, Cianni said.

Anyone wishing to give blood can stop by Prairie Hills Mall in the J.C. Penny wing from noon to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. There will be pizza Monday and sandwiches Tuesday, along with cookies during the whole blood drive. United Blood Services will be giving t-shirts to donors as long as supplies last.

There are door prizes including a toy cop car decorated to look like DPD car going to anyone pledging donations to Team Law and a toy fire truck for those pledging Team Fire.

And while the traveling trophy is coveted by both teams, the real winners are those who need blood.

"A tie would be good, if the law enforcement wins, that would be better," Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said with a chuckle. "It's not who gets more, it goes back to make sure the people donate blood."

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
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