LEXINGTON, S.C. – Lexington County deputies are practicing their version of the two-minute drill with new life-saving equipment they can use to treat themselves and others in the event of a serious injury.
“Essentially, you have at times less than two minutes to do this and to treat yourself. If you can apply a tourniquet within 20 seconds, then that is where you need to be,” said instructor Matt Young, a deputy with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department who’s leading the training of his fellow officers. “We encompassed a loud heartbeat and a countdown timer to have our students apply this within 20 seconds.”
Young said studies show if bleeding from a severe injury can be controlled, the victim’s chance of survival goes up by at least 85 percent. Certain tools increase those chances, and thanks to the military’s 1033 program, every deputy will begin carrying a survival pack.
“There’s at least two tourniquets in each one, there are different sizes and different types of bandages like sterile burn sheets, et cetera as well as compression gauze and blood stopper gauze,” Young said.
Young and other instructors teach each deputy how to use the equipment. The lessons will then be incorporated into annual training.
“You’ve got the fundamentals now, we will continue your education through block training from now on just to keep you familiar,” Young said. “The more familiar you are with everything, the better you are when you need to use it in a timely manner.”
Even though one might not think of law enforcement treating a life-threatening injury, Young said first responders are all working toward the same goal.
“It has nothing to do with if you’re a firefighter or an EMT or a paramedic, what we want to do is try to save lives,” Young said. “That’s what we signed up to do when we swore and that’s what we’re all about. Any way, shape or form that we can do that, that’s why we’re here.”
Every Lexington County deputy is scheduled to be fully trained on the first aid packs by January.