Police officers in Wisconsin Rapids are being trained as emergency medical technicians in order to save the lives of other officers who are injured in the line of duty. The program has its roots in the U.S. military.
It's called the "Buddy Aid" program. Wisconsin Rapids officers are being trained to react fast in the event the unthinkable happens, and their patrol buddy is shot or otherwise injured in the field. Police Chief Kurt Heuer says in such situations, there often isn't time to wait for the ambulance, "Time is everything, and we in three minutes time could lose a life due to significant bleeding on an extremity."
Heuer has equipped all of his cops with a portable emergency medical kit, and the training to use it, "This is actually a mini-trauma kit and tourniquet that was already available on the market. It's as small as we could possibly make it."
Chief Heuer says the Buddy Aid program was modeled after procedures used by the U.S. military for combat injuries. Heuer says the idea originated with Dr. Bruce Gordon, a local emergency medical technician, who convinced him of its potential value to the Wisconsin Rapids department, "You're our soldiers on the street, day in and day out in our communities," he says. " This can easily happen to an officer, his partner or a citizen. And, you know, why shouldn't we try to put in place equipment and training that could help save a life?"
Chief Heuer says the Buddy Aid program has sparked interest from other police departments in Wisconsin.