The Killeen fire and police departments entered a friendly competition Thursday. The city hosted its second consecutive Boots vs. Badges blood drive at the Killeen Community Center. Donors indicated which department they were supporting.

Killeen resident Nicole Cook donated, and said she likes to give back to the emergency services whenever possible. For this blood drive she supported the fire department, who she said had a persuasive welcoming committee.

“I was led into choosing the firefighters,” she said.

The fire department is looking for redemption after losing last year’s competition. As payment for losing, the fire department washed five police patrol cars, about the equivalent of their largest fire truck.

Cook, who found out about the blood drive on Facebook, said she donates blood from time to time.

“If it’s a special occasion, then I’ll go and do it,” she said.

Justin Gammill, donor service recruiter with the Baylor Scott & White Blood Center, gave praise to the city for its constant support.

“We really appreciate what Killeen does supporting Central Texas patients,” he said.

Killeen’s wellness coordinator, Kelly Rodriguez, said the competitive blood drive is the most popular blood drive.

“With all the blood drives I’ve been a part of, Boots vs. Badges has brought in the most people,” she said. Rodriguez expects a higher donor turnout than last year.

She credits the success of the event to the social media campaigning of both departments.

Representatives from the police department were grilling hot dogs and providing snow cones for donors.

The winner of the competition will be announced on Monday, and the washing will take place July 31 at 1 p.m. with the location to be determined by the blood drive results.

If anyone missed this blood drive and still wants to donate, they can either go to the fixed site at Baylor Scott & White in Temple or go to for a full list of upcoming drives.

Larry Mitchell, Realtor

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