Medical kits donated to Colo. cops
Trauma kits designed to 'save lives' when used by 1st on scene officer
By Rich Laden
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — While on patrol seven or eight years ago, Colorado Springs Police Officer Brian Frahm responded to a domestic violence call in which an armed suspect fled police and later shot himself in the chest.
The suspect lived, but Frahm remembers wishing something could have been done by officers on the scene to treat the injury until emergency medical personnel arrived.
Now with a bright-red trauma kit designed for first responders to apply special first-aid tools to address life-threatening situations, Frahm and other local law enforcement personnel will have the chance.
A donation of 710 medical trauma kits was announced Thursday by the Police Foundation of Colorado Springs, with the kits being given to Colorado Springs police and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office over the next two years.
The kits, each of which costs $86.17 and are about the size of a men's shaving bag, were purchased with funds donated to the Police Foundation by the Denver-based Anschutz Foundation. A portion of the funding came from the El Paso County Emergency Services Agency.
"These medical trauma kits are designed to save lives when only the law enforcement officer is present," Kyle Hybl, the Police Foundation's board chairman, said during a news conference at the Colorado Springs Police Operations Center. "It gives the law enforcement officer an opportunity to try and save a life, whereas before they might not have had those skills and technology with them to do that."
The kits include a combat tourniquet, a blood clotting solution, a chest sealant, a high-grade emergency bandage, emergency medical technician shears, compressed gauze and combat medic reinforced tape. Law enforcement personnel undergo a two-hour training on use of the items; about 20 police officers have received training, Hybl said.
The kits are intended for use by officers and deputies as they respond to violent situations, auto crashes, dog attacks or other incidents in which emergency medical personnel haven't arrived, Hybl said. Items in the kits might be used by officers and deputies to treat members of the public, colleagues or even themselves.
Police Chief Pete Carey said some situations to which officers respond aren't initially safe for medical responders, and law enforcement personnel are the only ones on the scene for several minutes.
Sheriff Terry Maketa said emergency personnel feel helpless when they arrive to find a victim of a gunshot or stab wound or an wreck - yet don't have the tools to provide first aid.
"I hope the kits are never used," Maketa said. "But when they are, it could mean the difference between life and death."
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