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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
  • Montevideo Police Department outfitted with easy to use combat tourniquets

  • The officers of the Montevideo Police Department are now carrying combat tourniquets on their belts as they patrol Montevideo.
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  • The officers of the Montevideo Police Department are now carrying combat tourniquets on their belts as they patrol Montevideo.
    The combat tourniquets, found effective by the United States Army, enable a person to quickly and easily control blood flow to an extremity for a period of time. Designed to be twisted tight by one hand, the combat tourniquets can be fit onto the belt of a police officer, and accessed immediately should the need ever arise to self-apply or apply to another officer.
    “Often times it’s not the gunshot that kills you, it’s the bleeding,” said Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher. “We decided that while it’s great that there are tourniquets in our medical bags, you can’t always get to them immediately in a situation.”
    The tourniquets also provide an immediate method for offers to rescue an injured civilian.
    An example of the tourniquet’s value came up recently in Minneapolis. As reported by Fox 9 on Feb. 8, two Minneapolis Police Officers were first on scene when a man was struck by a moving train, severing his legs. One of the officers was able to immediately apply his tourniquet to one leg, and within seconds, the other officer applied his to the other leg. Slowing down the blood loss saved the man’s life.
    Earlier, in October of 2013, WCCO reported that two officers saved the life of a boy in St. Paul, whose feet had been severed, by immediately applying their tourniquets when they arrived on the scene.
    “They’re easy to use, and they’re simple,” Christopher said. He explained that in an emergency situation, having that kind of simplicity is valuable. The strap of the tourniquet is wrapped around the extremity, and tightened quickly by turning a single, thin bar on one end.
    “We outfitted our entire department for $70. That’s a great deal if even one life is saved,” Christopher said.
    Christopher said that the use of combat tourniquets in police departments is new, but quickly picking up popularity as people realize the value. Soldiers returning home and becoming police officers are also helping to spread the word of their value.

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