IMPD gets 1,500 life-saving trauma kits

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Hundreds of trauma kits are going to every IMPD officer to help them save lives in the field.

The kits started as an idea by a southeast side church to equip the 200 officers who patrolled that district with tools to respond quickly in a trauma situation.

The grassroots effort quickly grew to include a fundraising effort to build more kits that brought in donations from large groups like the Indianapolis Colts and Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield to money from private citizens from across the country.

Hundreds of people gathered at the city's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge Tuesday to help assemble the kits, including those who know firsthand how trauma in the field can change lives forever.

"How you doing today?" asked retired IMPD Officer Spencer Moore as he made his way through an assembly line, putting together the pieces of a trauma kit every IMPD officer will now carry in his or her patrol car.

Moore knows all about putting together pieces, he and his wife Jo, still an active IMPD officer, have spent the past three years putting together the pieces of their lives after their son, IMPD Officer David Moore, was shot and killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop.

"When you lose somebody, all of this becomes very important and you just realize that everything you can do to help prevent it is what you have to do," Spencer Moore said of volunteering to put together the trauma kits.

"They tell you as the time goes on, it gets better. I'm here to tell you, that is not true, unfortunately, " he added.

Moore and his wife assembled the trauma kits with hundreds of other volunteers with a picture of their son just feet away.

"There's his picture back there, it's hard to miss," said Spencer.

"I have to live up to my son's legacy," added Jo Moore. "He would really love the first aid kits because they help everybody, not just the officers, but everybody."

Right next to Officer David Moore's picture stood a picture of Officer Rod Bradway, who was shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call last September.

"This would make a whole world of difference to a whole lot of runs I used to have where people actually died from gunshot wounds," said Spencer Moore, pointing to the contents of the kit, which include a tourniquet, trauma scissors, airway management equipment and emergency bandages.

A kit like the ones the Moores helped build Tuesday, would not have made a difference the day their son was shot.

"He was literally ambushed and it would not have helped," said Jo Moore.

But a kit just like it has made the difference already for one IMPD officer, now retired Officer Jason Fishburn, shot in the line of duty five years ago.

"It saved my life, really," said Fishburn of the trauma kit officers had on them when they found him suffering from gunshot wounds to the stomach and head.

Because such measures helped save his life, Fishburn is now a first-time father to a son, Gabriel.

"It's the best thing ever, honestly," said Fishburn.

Knowing more lives like Fishburn's can still be saved, the Moores were only too happy to help other volunteers build the trauma kits with items purchased from more than $150,000 in donations.

"I just hope nobody has to use this one, because if they have to use it, somebody's gotten hurt," said Spencer Moore.

The Moores said they realize the kits aren't a solution to the kind of violence that changed their lives and that of Officer Fishburn.

"The solution to the violence is us," said Spencer Moore.

The kits are a way, though, to deal with the violence that doesn't seem to be going away and possibly save lives.

"We've got to find a community or build a community where these aren't necessary," said Spencer Moore.

Police departments in Beech Grove, Cumberland and at the Indianapolis International Airport will also receive the kits.

All IMPD officers will have them in their cars by the end of the month.