CEDAR CITY — When someone is wounded by gunshots or similar life-threatening traumatic bleeding injuries, law enforcement personnel are often the first to arrive on scene.
In such situations time is of the essence, since victims who are bleeding heavily can die within two minutes.
In Iron County, responding officers can now more readily stop critical bleeding before emergency medical personnel arrive on scene, thanks to a recent donation by Gold Cross Ambulance.
Reagan Welsh, field supervisor and paramedic for Gold Cross, says that 100 bleeding control kits have been donated to various law enforcement agencies within Iron County over the past few months.
The trauma kits contain tourniquets, bandages, dressings, and chest seals to be used in major trauma incidents involving bleeding.
In mid-July, Welsh and two other Gold Cross employees, paramedic Ty March and advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT) Patrick Magee delivered 35 of the kits to the Iron County Sheriff’s office and trained deputies on how to use them.
Prior to that, several other agencies within the county also had received such kits, including Brian Head Marshal’s Office, Southern Utah University Police, the Enoch and Parowan police departments, plus the tri-county Narcotics Task Force that serves Iron, Garfield and Beaver counties.
“In many cases, specifically major incidents, our local resources are overwhelmed,” Welsh said. “The more people we can equip and train, the better off we all are as a community.”
Then, on Monday, Welsh, along with Gold Cross paramedic Matt Goodman and AEMT Trevan Harris, visited the Cedar City Police Department to deliver the final installment of the batch of 100 kits donated this year. Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack, Lt. Jimmy Roden and officer David McIntyre were on hand to receive the kits, which will be distributed to patrol officers who don’t already have them.
“Our goal is to provide them to anyone who would respond to a major incident in the local community,” Welsh said, noting that many of the officers who’ve been given the kits have received additional trauma training.
Welsh said that while “active shooter” situations have been a main impetus for bringing such kits to communities nationwide, the trauma kits may be used in various other scenarios as well, including major traffic accidents and mass casualty events, such as explosions and airplane or train crashes.
“Gold Cross Ambulance is doing what we feel is our duty to the community to help equip as many people as possible in case of such incidents,” Welsh said.
Additionally, a new initiative called Stop the Bleed, which is endorsed by the American College of Surgeons, encourages bystanders to take an active role in saving lives in active shooter or mass-casualty events before emergency crews arrive. For more information, visit the bleedingcontrol.org website.
The ABCs of bleeding control
- A: Alert 911.
- B: Bleeding. Find the injury and assess bleeding.
- C: Compress. Apply pressure to stop bleeding.
What to do in case of a severe bleeding injury
If you encounter someone with a major bleeding injury follow these steps:
- Identify if the bleeding is life-threatening and call 911.
- Apply pressure to the site. If bleeding continues, continue to step 3.
- Pack a deep wound with bandages and apply additional pressure. If bleeding continues, continue to step 4.
- Apply a tourniquet until bleeding is stopped.
How to know if bleeding is life threatening
- Blood is spurting out of the wound and won’t stop.
- Part or all of an appendage is missing.
- The bleeding patient is confused or unconscious.
Welsh said Gold Cross Ambulance next plans to focus on supplying trauma kits to local K-12 schools. Additionally, local businesses or organizations interested in obtaining them for their employees are invited to contact Welsh at 435-704-1483.
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