Equipment That Saves Lives
Quick thinking Tampa Police officers create a makeshift tourniquet to save a man’s life.
47-year-old Michael Tassinari is alive and well today thanks to the quick thinking of three Tampa Police officers who responded to a motorcycle crash that nearly ended Michael’s life. The officers quickly discovered that Michael’s leg and femoral artery were totally severed and exposed. First they attempted to use the victim’s belt to stop the bleeding, but it was ineffective. They also tried a field pressure dressing from a first aid kit, but were again unsuccessful. Two of the officers kept Michael talking to prevent him from going into shock, as the third office grabbed a branch, crime scene tape and a strap from a laptop case to create a makeshift tourniquet. Miraculously, this improvised tourniquet stopped the bleeding. The emergency room doctor and surgeon both agreed these heroic efforts saved Michael’s life. Tampa Police officers are often the first on scene where someone is seriously injured. Equipping them with a field trauma kit could mean the difference of life and death for someone severely injured. This need was never so apparent then on the day of the tragic bombing of the Boston Marathon. In the countless videos coming out of Boston, we all watched as officers did the best they could using makeshift tourniquets to help seriously injured runners. Tampa is a city known for its Gasparilla parades and events that bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to our community. It is our goal to equip every Tampa police car with a trauma kit. When a dangerous situation is unfolding, unarmed paramedics are forced to wait until it’s safe to enter a scene. Officers armed with tactical trauma kits could offer aid more quickly and possibly save lives. The department’s budget provides basic first aid kits to each police officer, but the more advanced trauma kits at $800-$1,000 a piece are beyond TPD’s budget. Every officer would also need training on how to administer the aid and use the kits properly. This would cost an additional $80,000.