MOUNT VERNON — In mass casualty events such as acts of violence, the initial responders can be faced with numerous priorities ranging from neutralizing or stopping further violence, managing an evacuation, providing directions and information to responding units and addressing the volume of injured victims. On Tuesday morning, Director of Knox County Emergency Management Agency Mark Maxwell, presented local law enforcement officials with new Public Safety Drop Kits, part of the preparedness measures by local agencies for the citizens of Knox County.
“This is part of a Central Ohio measure that enhances our readiness in emergency situations,” said Maxwell. “These kits continue to build on the plans, training, and exercises that Knox County first responders have been implementing over the past couple of years. Without a doubt, we’re much better prepared to protect and serve our community.”
Based upon lessons learned from a variety of incidents, including the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Franklin County Emergency Management (FCEM) and Homeland Security (HS) along with Emergency Management directors from the surrounding 14 counties will provide citizenAID Public Safety Drop Kits to first responders throughout Central Ohio. The kits have been developed by citizenAID of North America. Each kit includes six individual public treatment kits which contain medical equipment and lifesaving instructions to help stop life threatening bleeding in the valuable minutes prior to advanced help and medical transportation arriving on the scene.
Maxwell further explained that historically, a window of time existed when the injured couldn’t be helped because law enforcement needs to first defuse the threat. The time between point of wounding and paramedic care is lengthened in a violent incident. “With the new kits, police officers can now ‘drop’ the appropriate equipment with citizens because the kit is designed for a lay person with no medical training to use, allowing the public to help themselves, to assess the injured, access supplies and save lives — all before professional medical care arrives,” Maxwell added.
The citizenAID kit provides easy access to Public Treatment Kits (PTKs) which include tourniquets, pressure dressings and gauze to help control bleeding along with emergency blankets and nitrile gloves. Most importantly, concise, step-by-step instructions and a citizenAID pocket guide are also part of each kit. The company has packaged six (PTKs) in a small, transportable bag, making it easy for first responders to “drop” them so civilians can help treat the wounded. Mount Vernon Police Chief Kit Morgan says that it will help his officers immensely should the need arise.
“People who are not injured on a scene can help save lives before EMS arrives,” said Morgan. “We’re grateful to Franklin County Emergency Management and to Homeland Security for their thoughtfulness in empowering bystanders who really want to help in emergency situations.”
FCEM and HS has contracted with citizenAID to provide nearly 1,000 Public Safety Drop Kits for placement in first responder vehicles such as police cruisers, fire and EMS vehicles as well as special event units working large crowd public events. Kits were purchased through a State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) Grant which was awarded regionally to the 15 regional counties in Central Ohio.