Police officers learn life saving medical skills

Police officers learn life saving medical skills
At the end of the class, each officer was given a tourniquet package, courtesy of the coastal trauma region. (Photo source: WLOX)
At the end of the class, each officer was given a tourniquet package, courtesy of the coastal trauma region. (Photo source: WLOX)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Thousands of people, including first responders themselves, die every year from blood loss. It doesn't have to be that way.

"Self wound care is incredibly important to police officers, for themselves, their partners and for any victims of gunshots or stabbings and so forth when they arrive on the scene," explained Ocean Springs Police Chief Mark Dunston.

Tourniquets play an important role, but so does packing a deep wound. Tuesday's training was sponsored by the Mississippi Coastal Trauma Region. Gail Thomas heads up the organization.

"We want to protect our police officers because they are the ones that protect us. We just think it's an important endeavor. Our goal is as a trauma region is the protect every trauma patient in Mississippi, make sure they have the best outcome," Thomas said.

Those who protect and serve know the value of this training. One of them is Officer Nicole Shavers with the OSPD.

"It's very important. Usually, I'm the first one on the scene of a traffic accident and it will be a matter of saving someone's life."

Now, whenever these officers reach the scene of a traumatic accident, whether it's to save their own lives or the lives of others, speed is the absolute key.  Dr. Perry Walton is the trainer for this class.

"The studies have all shown that you can die from arterial bleeding in less than three minutes, so what we're doing today is really trying to teach these officers to stop bleeding as quickly and efficiently as possible," Walton explained.

The Mississippi Coastal Trauma Region hopes to have tourniquet kits in the hands of every police officer in the state by the end of the year.

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