Omaha Police Receive Life-Saving Tools

Omaha Police will soon be using life-saving medical equipment bags to use at a mass casualty event or other emergencies.

The kits include tourniquets, pressure dressings and decompression needles.  "In a perfect world, the fire department would be there first on every injury but that's not always practical."

Having the gear will allow officers the chance to begin triage and provide immediate care before paramedics arrive. Schmaderer says the most recent example of an incident in which the kits could have played an important role was the Old Market shooting in 2018 where eight people were injured. "This would have been something where we could have been there instantly and tried to assess victims."

Schmaderer says the 12 equipment bags will be placed in the vehicles of sergeants and lieutenants in every precinct in the city.

Dr. Mike Wagner is a trauma surgeon and says the equipment will save lives. "A patient who doesn't go into shock is much easier to care for and you can prevent a patient from going into shock by using one of these. I feel very confident that as we incorporate this technology with the police officers that we will have much better success in dealing with these critically injured patients."

The fundraising effort to purchase the kits and put them on fire trucks began with Omaha firefighter and paramedic Dustin Talacko following the Las Vegas shooting that left 59 people dead and injured hundreds of others.  

He says they had some left over money, but not enough for the second phase of the project.  That led to a new round of fund-raising and included donations by the Omaha Police Union and a match from the Omaha Police Department. 

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