The First to Render Aid

by Safety Connection

Did you know that the police officer you just saw on the street could be a walking first aid kit?

Because they are often the first to arrive at an incident or need to make a scene safe before EMTs and other first responders can render medical aid (think of an active shooter incident or a weapons scene), officers carry first aid equipment with them in their squads, in an equipment bag or even in the cargo pockets of their uniforms.

Madison Police officers at a minimum carry Narcan (for drug overdoses) and tourniquets, but officers can also purchase additional first aid items with their equipment allowance. They are trained how to use these various items in case they are ever needed.

At a recent community event, an MPD sergeant emptied his cargo pockets to explain all the first aid equipment he carries with him at all times. Items such as chest seals (for deep wounds) and combat gauze (which has clotting properties) can make the difference between life or death when someone has been severely injured but other first responders haven’t yet arrived or haven’t been cleared to enter an active scene.

Recently a Madison EMT told Madison Police that if it wasn’t for the quick first aid actions of one of their officers, a victim probably would not have survived a recent downtown attempted homicide.

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