$100 trauma kits are saving lives in central Indiana

Trauma kit (WTHR Staff)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A $100 kit in the hands of a police officer could mean the difference between life and death. In one recent instance, it meant exactly that.

Officer Travis McColley, IMPD (WTHR Staff)

"It's pretty crucial, I keep it on my headrest in my car so you can get it really quickly," IMPD Officer Travis McColley said.

He credits extensive training with the Central Indiana Police Foundation Trauma Kits that made saving a man's life second nature.

"That night, we responded to a person shot," Michael Gibson with IMPD said. "We went inside the apartment building, located the male on the floor with a gunshot wound to the leg."

"My instinct kicked in," Officer McColley said. "I grabbed the tourniquet and went into the room and strapped it on his leg."

It wasn't until later that Officer McColley discovered how crucial that instinctual movement was.

"The detective that did the investigation came back and told us that whoever strapped the tourniquet on him saved his life," Officer McColley said. "I'm like wow - I made an impact that way so it was, it was pretty cool."

"It does save lives," Officer Gibson said. "There is a huge gap between the time that we get to a scene versus EMS and fire. If we have that tool on board, a lot of times we end up saving that persons life."

The idea for these kits came after an officer was shot in the line of duty.

"Several years ago, Officer Jason Fishburn was shot - ambushed - in the line of duty, [an] IMPD Officer," Lisa Rollings, with the Central Indiana Police Foundation said. "And the officers had really nothing on them to start treating him right away. However, one officer came sort of out of the blue and had a kit because he had been a military EMT."

That kit saved Officer Fishburn's life and ignited the idea for more of these trauma kits that continue to change the course of lives here in central Indiana.