NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans and their official healthcare provider, Saint Thomas Health l Ascension, teamed up with the Davidson County Metro Police, Sheriff and Fire Departments – helping save lives at the annual Music City Battle of the Badges blood drive that honored fallen Officer John Anderson on Monday, July 8 at Nissan Stadium.
Anderson was killed on July 4 when his car was struck on the driver's side by a teen driver who was driving without a license. Anderson had been with the department for four years, had become a father a little over a year ago and had spent his entire time at the Central Precinct. He graduated from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department Academy in June 2015 and was a member of the US Marine Corps Reserve. His funeral was scheduled Monday afternoon, July 8.
The Music City Battle of the Badges marks an 11-year partnership with the Red Cross. Honoring law enforcement and fire personnel, while helping to save lives through blood donation, is a long-standing tradition in Nashville.
"The Tennessee Titans are proud to be associated with Saint Thomas Health and the Battle of the Badges. And we believe honoring Officer John Anderson during this year's blood drive is part of a fitting tribute to his memory," said Titans President & CEO Steve Underwood.
Blood and platelet donations often decline during the summer months when busy schedules and vacation plans cause some donors to be less available to give. The need for blood remains constant all summer long. Blood is vital for the operation of the body's organs and why donating blood is exceptionally important.
This drive comes as the Red Cross is urging individuals to help ensure blood is never missing from hospital shelves through the Missing Types campaign. The goal of Missing Types is to inspire new blood donors and those who haven't given lately to give this summer. The need is also urgent for type O blood donors. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.
"Blood donation is incredibly important as it is used for a wide range of clinical circumstances, and donated blood often saves lives," said Sam Straton, Chief Nursing Officer of Saint Thomas West Hospital. "At Ascension Saint Thomas, we are honored to support the efforts of impactful organizations saving lives across Middle Tennessee."
This year, local first responders joined forces in honoring fallen Officer John Anderson with a moment of silence.
"Nashville's first responders are second to none, and continually make this drive one of the largest in Tennessee," Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said. "This year's blood drive isn't about winning or losing, it is now about resiliency and our agencies coming together to heal. Every pint donated by the sheriff's office will be donated in the name of Officer John Anderson. Donate blood & save lives"
"The Nashville Fire Department is excited to participate again in the Battle of the Badges," said Director Chief William Swann. "Our personnel know the importance of a sustainable blood supply. Especially during the summer, we want to do everything we can to encourage people to give blood."
"The goal of our officers and fire department paramedics is to get patients to the hospital where lifesaving blood and world class medical care await," said Chief Steve Anderson. We count on donors to the Red Cross to ensure emergency blood is available at all times to help critically injured citizens, including first responders."
As one of the largest-sponsored blood drives in Middle Tennessee, in 2018, the Battle of the Badges Blood Drives held from May to July collected a record-breaking 869 pints of life-saving blood – 26 more donations than the year before. The Davidson County Sheriff's Office secured the victory, receiving serious bragging rights, a plaque, and was named the 2018 Best Badge. This year the blood drive had 933 donors, potentially saving up to 2,799 lives.
Donating is easy, and in the eight to 10 minutes it takes to donate a pint of blood, up to three lives can be saved.
Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. Each day, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.
Blood donation is incredibly important as it is used for a wide range of clinical circumstances, including heart transplants and heart surgeries. Around 80 percent from donation drives goes to emergency rooms. When critical patients need blood, it's important to have access to blood quickly and these events help accomplish that need.
Each day, our first responders help save lives. They joined forces to help save even more lives from blood collected during Monday's event, representing only a small fraction of the important work that they do throughout the year.
The Tennessee Titans honor fallen officer John Anderson during the annual Music City Battle of the Badges Blood Drive July 8 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)
About Saint Thomas Health
In Tennessee, Ascension's Saint Thomas Health operates nine hospitals in addition to a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities that cover a 68-county area and employ more than 8,000 associates. Across the state, Saint Thomas Health provided more than $127 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2018. Serving Tennessee for 15 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, operating more than 2,600 sites of care – including 151 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.sthealth.com.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.