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Colorado Springs police officer Jessica Kuhn faces off with Colorado Springs firefighter Jason Jones to represent the upcoming "Battle of the Badges" blood drive. Donors will be asked to vote for either Team Law or Team Fire in a friendly state competition to restore blood supplies.

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Colorado Springs police and firefighters are holding blood drives Tuesday and Wednesday in a friendly statewide competition to replenish "dangerously low" blood supplies.

Donors can vote for Team Law or Team Fire. A state winner will be announced in August, but local police and firefighters are vying for bragging rights of their own.

Colorado Springs residents can give and vote from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at:

- Tuesday - the Colorado Springs Police Department, 705 S. Nevada Ave.

- Wednesday - The Colorado Springs Fire Department, 375 Printers Parkway.

Donations also can be made and votes cast at the Bonfils Blood Center, 3670 Austin Bluffs Parkway.Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. Visit donors.bonfils.org or call 1-800-365-0006 (select option 2).

"In the end, we all win as we meet the needs of the community blood supply together," Bonfils spokeswoman Liz Lambert said.

Bonfils' blood supply dipped to concerning levels in July as donations lagged, Lambert said. The drop isn't unusual during winter and summer, vacation months, but the need for blood also increases during those times, she said.

The goal is to maintain at least a four-day supply for all blood types, but the level dropped to a two-day supply this month, Lambert said.

Bonfils needs more than 3,000 blood donations a week to meet patients' needs at about 100 Colorado hospitals and to be ready for unexpected events.

Donations can only be stored for up to 42 days, but they're ypically used within two, Lambert said.

All blood types are needed, and one donation can help up to three patients. Each donor will receive a voucher for $5 off any order of $10 or more at Noodles & Company.

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Kaitlin is a public safety reporter with a focus on investigations. She is a proud Ohioan, champion for local libraries and an expert ice cream connoisseur (mint chocolate chip, y'all!). She joined the Gazette in 2016.