Law enforcement officers will battle fire fighters and emergency medical service workers for blood next week.

The third annual Boots & Badges Blood Drive runs Feb. 4 through Feb. 9 during National Burn Awareness Week, according to a Houchin Community Blood Bank news release. Donors vote for either team. Fire and EMS have triumphed in the competition for the last two years.

The winning team's name will be proclaimed on a plaque, while blood donors will be entered to win a $500 Apple Store gift card from San Joaquin Community Hospital.

The challenge will culminate with a Safety and Burn Awareness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at 5901 Truxtun Ave. The Bakersfield Fire Department will offer a free hot dog lunch for blood donors and their families, the news release said.

Blood drives will be held at:

* Arvin Fire Station, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 4

* Shafter Fire Station, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 5

* Delano Fire Station, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 6

* Taft Fire Station, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 7

* Tehachapi Fire Station, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Feb. 8

* Lamont David Head Center, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 8

* Wasco Fire Station, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 8

* Frazier Park Fire Station, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 8

* Rosamond Fire Station, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 8

For information, call the blood bank at 323-4222.

Cal State Bakersfield will host a medical and health professions conference next week to help students learn how to enter health care careers.

The conference will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Dore Theater. The event is being presented by Kern Medical Center in association with CSUB, the Kern Community College District and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

The conference aims to encourage students to enter the medical field to help meet the health care needs of the Central Valley, according to CSUB. The event will include demonstrations and question and answer sessions.

A former Planned Parenthood clinic director will speak next week at the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center's 2013 Benefit Banquet.

Anti-abortion advocate Abby Johnson left Planned Parenthood in 2009 and authored the book "Unplanned," according to a news release.

The banquet will be held Feb. 12 at Olive Knolls Church of the Nazarene. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the banquet starts at 6:30 p.m. Visit or call 326-1915 for complimentary tickets.

The Kern Assistive Technology Center will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a ribbon cutting and open house at its new location next week.

Mayor Harvey Hall will cut the ribbon 2 p.m. Feb. 12 at the center's new digs at 2600 F St.

The new facility is an upgrade to about 2,500 square feet from the center's previous space of about 600 square feet, according to Aaron Markovits, the center's executive director.

"We're really excited about having more space so we can serve more people," Markovits said.

The new facility features a training room and an individual therapy room as well as a model bedroom, bathroom and kitchen for people with disabilities.

The center can bill health insurance for speech therapy and some of its other services and also has equipment available through its loan library, Markovits said.

To attend the ribbon cutting and open house, RSVP to 861-1346 or by email to Visit for information about the center.

The governor's office announced the appointment of a local dentist to the Dental Board of California Wednesday.

Thomas Stewart, 66, of Bakersfield has been a dentist in private practice since 1976, the governor's office said. He was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1978 to 1997 and a member of the Dental Corps of the U.S. Navy from 1972 to 1976.

The office said Stewart earned a doctor of dental surgery degree from Howard University College of Dentistry.

Stewart won't have to be confirmed by the state Senate. He will be paid $100 per diem. Stewart is a Republican.

-- Staff writer Rachel Cook