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CLE police help gunshot victims with first aid

Posted at 6:33 PM, Dec 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-22 05:23:04-05

Cleveland officers administered potentially life-saving aid to a pair of gunshot victims injured in the Flats over the weekend, adding to the growing number of trauma patients benefiting from police first aid kits in Northeast Ohio.

Police told newsnet5.com three victims were injured in Sunday morning’s shooting, which began outside a concert club on the city’s west side.

The fight began outside Odeon Concert Club, located at 1290 Old River Road, and continued north on Old River Road when three people were shot near the intersection of West 10th Street and Main Avenue.

Police told newsnet5.com that officers administered first aid to two of the three victims through a tourniquet and QuickClot blood-clotting gauze.

The kits are new to Cleveland squad cars, which were not required to carry first aid supplies at the time of the Tamir Rice shooting in November 2014.

An investigation revealed that neither of the officers involved in the Rice shooting administered first aid to the 12-year-old boy’s gunshot wound to the pelvis.

A consent decree between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice required that "zone cars be equipped with first aid kits that would allow officers to perform life-saving measures.”

University Hospitals Emergency Medicine Dr. Robert Coleman said an increase in police cruisers carrying first aid trauma kits is helping saves lives across Northeast Ohio.

“It's not surprising to me to hear that we’ve made progress.” Coleman told newsnet5.com. “They’re there before the trauma surgeon’s even aware that something going on.”

Coleman said the benefits of stopping or slowing bleeding for gunshot victims can be life-saving once a patient makes it to the ER.

“It can give the trauma surgeon time to get in there and take care of the injuries adequately as needed,” he said.

Geauga County, home to a University Hospitals level III trauma center, was one of the first counties to outfit police vehicles with the first aid kits.

The Geauga County Sheriff told newsnet5.com that the department experienced its “first save” shortly after the kits were distributed, thanks to a partnership with University Hospitals.

“There have been incidents where just a few minutes have made a big difference,” Sheriff Dan McClelland told newsnet5.com.

Dan Ellenberger, Director of the University Hospitals EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute, said the partnership has aided several police departments as well as Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

“University Hospitals has made a total investment in this emergency response care because there is a need,” Ellenberger said.

Police said all three victims from this weekend’s shooting are expected to survive their injuries.

No arrests had been made as of Monday evening.

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