Law enforcement officers throughout Logan County gathered in Guthrie on Thursday for ongoing training with a new tool that could help save a life, or perhaps even their own life.
With the help of a grant from Homeland Security, law enforcement officers are now equipped with a triage kit. With the kit, officers will now be able to conduct tactical medicine techniques.
The training teaches public safety first responders (police, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders) the basic medical care interventions that will help save an injured responder’s life until EMS practitioners can safely enter a tactical scene.
One of the items inside the kit is a tourniquet, which is used to help stop bleeding from an injured leg or arm.
Guthrie Police Department’s Detective Erik Lamb showed me exactly how it worked by placing the tourniquet as high as possible on my right arm. Using the velcro strap and a couple twists, the blood circulation was completely cut off to my arm.
If an officer was wounded, they could apply the tourniquet on themselves until further medical treatment can be provided.
Along with the tourniquet, bandages, and Quikclot sponges are supplied in the kit.
The training was provided by the Department of Emergency Medicine’s Bill Justice and Medical Director Dr. Bill Worden.
“It’s designed to help save themselves first and then treat someone else second,” Dr. Worden said.
Officers learned the basic life support for trauma by using M-A-R-C-H method, which officers are instructed to stop the bleeding, open airway, locate and treat injuries that are causing difficulty breathing, check for signs of shock and keep the patient warm.
Often times officers must perform this life saving event in the dark. Officers were blinded with the help of a mask and began the five steps on their fellow officers.
“I hope we never have to use the things we’re taught today, but if we do I know these guys are going to be ready,” Dr. Worden said.