VIENNA, IL (KFVS) - A fundraiser is in effect in Southern Illinois between Shawnee Tactical Solutions and the Stop the Bleeding Coalition to put specialized trauma kits in the hands of police departments.
Tom Da Cosse, a medical instructor for Shawnee Tactical and a former EMS, believes that these kits in the proper hands could be the difference between life and death in an active shooter scenario.
He said the Stop the Bleeding Coalition and Shawnee Tactical are trying to raise funds to get 100 kits to 100 officers to departments that would otherwise not be able to afford them. Each kit costs $100, according to Da Cosse.
Once in the hands of police officers, Da Cosse and others from Shawnee Tactical will go to departments and offer an 8-hour training course to officers on how to properly take life-saving measures in an active shooter situation or any other scenario where someone is bleeding out and police are the only ones on scene.
"People who are generally saved in an active shooter environment or a mass casualty environment are the ones that officers put in a squad car and drive directly to the ER," he said, "Police officers can carry this equipment on their person easily and buy time until they can get that person to definitive care."
Included in each trauma kit are things like gauze, a tourniquet, pressure bandages, bandages that promote blood clotting and then some. All of which can be carried on one's person, as Da Cosse does daily.
Vienna Chief of Police Jim Miller said his department has basic first aid training and is even starting to get a few tourniquets for his department. However, at $200 a piece, just for the tourniquet, it isn't exactly cost effective.
He also said training for field trauma involving massive bleeding could be a huge help to departments like his in a rural area where trained paramedics could potentially not arrive in time.
"We're trained to neutralize the threat. You gotta take out the shooter. You gotta stop the threat. Then medical comes second," he said, "Most counties maybe have one ambulance, and they may be on a call. And it could be 20-30 minutes before they can arrive on scene."
The fundraiser goes on until January 31st. You can donate by clicking here.