The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office recently acquired new self-aid medical kits which will become a standard part of their uniforms.
The sheriff’s office purchased the TacMed Patrol Trauma Response Pouch to allow deputies to medicate themselves and other people at the scene of crashes and other serious incidents.
Champaign County Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Rapp said the sheriff’s office has discussed acquiring this kind of equipment for years but the urgency of getting it increased followed last year’s officers involved in shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. Rapp said the officers in these situations were pinned down and unable to make it back to their patrol vehicles.
Rapp also referenced an incident from last December where a Dayton police officer was struck by a vehicle while on the scene of a crash. The use of similar equipment included in the new medic kits helped save his life.
“The other fellow officer was carrying a tourniquet – which this kit carries – and he applied the tourniquet and it saved his life,” Rapp said. “Ultimately, Sheriff (Matt) Melvin is making equipment available to our personnel that we can save a life with.”
Rapp said deputies have first-aid kits in their cruisers but this kit provides quicker access to equipment not in a first-aid kit.
Rapp and Deputy Matt Larmee said having this equipment would allow deputies to self-medicate or allow a fellow deputy to provide medical assistance. The kits can also help if the deputy is the first on the scene of a crash or other serious incident where aid needs to be provided as medical crews are on their way.
“St. Paris or Mechanicsburg might have a patient on and they may be at the hospital and they’ve got a 15-minute turnaround before they can get back out,” Larmee said. “It might come to that where you’re the only aid on scene.”
The contents of the pouch include a tourniquet, gauzes, bandages, a chest seal and gloves. The pouch will be placed on a deputy’s belt.
In addition to content and value, Larmee said how the kits would be carried was another factor in deciding to go with this specific kit. Before the kits were issued, two deputies who are EMT-certified went over the items in the kit and how to use the tourniquet.
The equipment was acquired after the sheriff’s office consulted with the Urbana Fire Division and Chief Mark Keller. Rapp said the sheriff’s office wanted to make sure the equipment, such as the tourniquet, could match up with the equipment used by EMS units in the county.
“The medics and fire (personnel), they’re doing this every day and we wanted to make sure that the equipment is going to have similarities with all of the other EMS units in the county,” Rapp said.
“We wanted their opinion because they’re going to be the ones that are going to show up to help us,” Larmee said.
Keller said the tourniquet is the main piece of equipment in the kit Urbana personnel use.
“One of the things with that is what we talked about is having some consistency within the county of what we use on the EMS side of things being comparable to what they would have on them so that we would know that if an EMS provider came up to them they could easily put that device on. And if for some reason when the officer uses that we can also train them how to use those things versus some of the others that are on the market that aren’t really comparable to what we use,” Keller said.
Keller said some of the items included in the kit have been tested through combat situations in the Middle East and have been proven to be effective.
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.