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June 20, 2013

Cops get tourniquet training following marathon bombings

METHUEN, Mass.. — In Iraq and Afghanistan, QuikClot agents are used by soldiers in battle to quickly stop severe bleeding.  Now  police officers are now carrying the innovative hemostatic agents, should one of their own be wounded.

At the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, tourniquets, many quickly fashioned from any clothing possible, saved many lives when two homemade bombs exploded at the finish line. City officers are now carrying tourniquets too.

All 93 officers in the Methuen  department are now learning to use QuikClot, tourniquets and other tactical training maneuvers.

Police Chief Joseph Solomon said the training blends everything from technology used by the U.S. military, the return of tourniquets to First Aid kits, to life-saving measures a police officer can take to save an injured co-worker.

“Our hope is that we never use this but if we need it, we’ll have it,” Solomon said.

Officers practiced several different ways to carry an injured police officer and how to approach and retreat safely.

“If they have to go out and actually rescue (another officer), this training shows them how to approach an officer down,” Solomon explained.

However, Solomon said the largest part of the tactical training focused on traumatic First Aid and the crucial first steps that need to be taken.

Long used by the military, QuikClot, a sponge-like gauze pressure dressing, is growing in prevalence and use among police officers across the United States. As with soldiers, QuikClot is used to stop severe bleeding from wounds.

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Details for this story were provided by The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass.

 

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