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May 2, 2011

Tucson responders relied on medic kits

By EMS1 Staff

TUCSON, Ariz. — A small collection of first-aid materials based on gear used to save soldiers in the battlefield helped first responders treat those wounded in the Tucson shootings this January.

NPR reports that David Kleinman, a medic for the Pima County sheriff’s SWAT team, came up with a two-hour training program called "the First Five Minutes" that instructed deputies on life-saving techniques.

Kleinman outfitted deputies with the kits, each containing $99 worth of gear adapted from an Infantry First Aid Kid (I-FAK). The kits contain an emergency bandage developed by the Israeli military, combat gauze, shears, a nylon tourniquet, and an Asherman chest seal, according to the NPR report.

After calling for every ambulance available, deputies who arrived at the shooting scene began CPR and used the kits to treat some of the victims, NPR said.

Kathy Hiller, a doctor who treated the victims who arrived at the University Medical Center emergency room, told NPR the bandages "were appropriately used for the injuries and the patients were actually doing very well with those basic medical interventions."