A Champaign County deputy demonstrates one of the new tourniquets they will carry. Katherine Collins/Staff

Champaign County deputies to carry ‘life-saving’ devices

All Champaign County deputies will soon carry tourniquets on their belts after one was recently used to save the life of a Dayton Police officer.

The tourniquets that stop blood hemorrhaging will be part of a self-aid medical kit that will also include gloves, gauze and chest seals.

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“We need this …to make sure that we’re safe and that the deputies have access to something right there on their person,” said Capt. Dave Rapp with the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office

Dayton Police Officer Byron Branch was struck while outside of his patrol car on Interstate 75 in December. An SUV ran into his cruiser — striking Branch, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said at the time of the crash.

Another officer applied a tourniquet to his leg, Biehl said, likely saving his life.

“Those officers, they’re not able to get back to their patrol cars to obtain a medical kit,” Rapp said.

He also cited recent shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge as a reason the kits are needed.

“We could actually self-administer aid when we’re injured,” he said.

The tourniquets can help save citizens as well, he said.

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The sheriff’s office worked together with the Urbana Fire Division to ensure the tourniquets used in the kits would match those of paramedics.

“It was important that we have a similar type of tourniquet throughout the county,” Urbana Fire Division Chief Mark Keller said, “so that way no matter what EMS department came and assisted the officer that they know how to operate that tourniquet.”

The tourniquets used by deputies are bright orange so that they’ll be easily seen by medics.

“When you have a large hemorrhage or a wound on a limb, that can unfortunately cause death,” Keller said. “We want to make sure we reduce the chance of that happening to control bleeding.”

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office purchased the kits from Tactical Medical Solutions, a company out of South Carolina. Each deputy will begin to carry the kits after they receive training, Rapp said.

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