INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers want more law enforcement officers to carry tourniquets and other medical supplies to slow bleeding.
Some agencies, such as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, have had their officers carry tourniquet kits for years. Sgt. Genae Cook said they’ve been a vital tool.
“We’ve had numerous times where doctors have come to us afterwards and said because of the officer’s fast reaction and the ability to put a tourniquet on, this saved this person’s life,” she said.
Donations allowed IMPD to obtain the kits, Sgt. Cook said. All of the department’s officers are trained on how to apply a tourniquet and have often used them to stop bleeding after car crashes and shootings, she added.
Police are usually the first on the scene of an emergency, Cook said.
“Even though we’re in the city, we still have a delay on medical care along with other areas based on the needs of ambulances,” she said.
Now Indiana lawmakers want to make sure all law enforcement agencies across the state have access to tourniquet kits.
“Law enforcement up in our area and throughout the state don’t have the resources, don’t have the funding to be able to get the bleeding control kit,” said State Rep. Mike Andrade (D-Munster).
Bleeding control kits usually cost at least $120 each, Andrade said. He introduced House Bill 1396, which would allow any law enforcement agency to get help from the state to obtain tourniquet kits for their officers.
Under the bill, the program would use donations and state funding already set aside for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to pay for the kits.
Andrade said he hopes to get new state funding approved for the program.
“I think when it comes down to saving someone’s life, there’s no price to it,” Andrade said.
The bill was passed in the House with unanimous support. It’s expected to get a hearing in the state Senate next week, Andrade said.