Care kits could save lives

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PITTSFIELD — Police were on-hand as crowd control at the Boston Marathon unexpectedly became front line response when bombs exploded near the finish line in 2013.

Officers there had kits, known as individual police officer kits or self-care kits, which include a number of tools to save a person who is critically injured by a gunshot or other flesh wound.

Now each sworn member of the Pittsfield Police Department has one, too.

Pittsfield Elks Lodge board member Brian Andrews, who also runs County Ambulance, approached the department with the idea to raise money for the kits.

The kits were purchased with a $4,000 donation from the Elks National Foundation Gratitude Grant and the Local Elks Lodge No. 272 and some money from the Police Department.

The City Council accepted the grant during its meeting Tuesday night.

The money was enough to buy individual pieces, such as blood clotting gauze and a tourniquet bandage, and create 80 kits, Police Chief Michael Wynn said.

"The purpose of the kits is to help an officer with a traumatic wound," he said.

In the event of an emergency, officers can self-administer the care or help a fellow officer or civilian, he added.



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