TULSA - It didn't take long for Tulsa police officers to put new first aid kits and training to use, and in only a few weeks they've saved three lives.
The department received a federal grant and purchased 359 of the military-grade first aid kits.
They were distributed to patrol officers, who also got training in how to use them.
Ofcr. Anthony First provided that training, something he's uniquely qualified to do since he's both a member of the TPD Special Operations Team and a paramedic with 20 years' experience.
"Patrol officers are the first ones there, so absent any need for them to take care of a threat (or) neutralize a suspect, if they have the ability to help someone out, now they have the ability to do that," he told KRMG in an exclusive interview.
And it didn't take long for the pay off, he added. "We've had three officers use their new training, use this new equipment, and they're credited with saving three lives."
He said it didn't take long to teach the basics.
"Keeping the blood in them, keeping the air in them, and then getting them quickly to a higher level of care" are the priorities, he told KRMG.
For example, "an aterial bleed, be it a high-arm or high-leg injury, you've only got a couple, three minutes to live. It's gotta be dealt with very quickly, usually before Fire or EMS can arrive, even though they are very quick on their own."
He said the money to buy the kits came from a federal grant.