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Frontline officers to receive first "trauma kits" to help save lives

Lee Bentnall EMAS, Chief Inspector Steffan Shellard, Lord Willy Bach

Lee Brentnall (EMAS); Chief Insp Steffan Shellard (Leics Police) and Lord Willy Bach

New “trauma kits” providing frontline police officers with emergency medical equipment to help save lives when responding to knife crime have arrived in Leicestershire.

The county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach has taken delivery of the first batch of Catastrophic Haemorrhage kits in the same week a national campaign of knife crime prevention activity gets underway as part of Operation Sceptre.

The packs – worth £10,000 – will be carried in all 120 frontline police vehicles across the county, thanks to funding from the PCC.

They will enable police officers across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to deliver critical blood loss management when presented with life-threatening violence injuries.

The PCC joined Lee Brentnall, Ambulance Operations Manager for EMAS, in welcoming the first batch of Catastrophic Haemorrhage kits during national anti-knife crime week known as Operation Sceptre.

Willy Bach said: “This is a hugely important step to ensure our police officers have everything they need to act swiftly in those vital early minutes following a catastrophic injury.

“We are doing everything possible to prevent people from carrying knives in the first place. But it is a sad reality that still too many people are needlessly dying through violence. These packs will give victims the best possible chance of survival in the event of trauma, before paramedics arrive at a crime scene.  

“Police officers are already expected to give first aid as part of their duties. These kits will ensure those efforts are supported by the very latest medical equipment in those precious early minutes which are quite often the difference between life and death.”

The Haemorrhage Packs, which are the same kits used by the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS trust as part of its #SaveLivesNoKnives campaign, contain chest seals, blast bandages, wound dressings and a tourniquet aimed at stemming blood flow quickly in the event of a serious injury.

EMAS has launched a social media campaign featuring videos with frontline paramedics responding to victims of knife crime to raise awareness of the issue and the need to deliver swift treatment. The organisation has agreed to replace the contents of each pack once they have been used in support of the project.

Lee Brentnall, Ambulance Operations Manager for EMAS, said: “We have seen an increase of violent knife crime across the East Midlands, which is also reflected nationally.

This is a vital piece of partnership working and I would like to thank Lord Willy Bach for funding the initial deployment of these packs across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. It’s fantastic news that Leicestershire Police have agreed to train all Police Officers and place these packs in all frontline Police cars.”

Superintendent Shane O’Neill, who leads the force’s response to knife crime, said: “One life lost to knife crime is one too many. Our officers are often the first emergency service to arrive at the scene so anything which can help us to save lives in those crucial moments, is vital. We know that carrying a knife puts an individual in more danger and so we would always appeal for them to consider their actions and not pick up a knife in the first place.”

The management of catastrophic haemorrhage (uncontrolled heavy bleeding) has advanced during the last decade with new products available for frontline Paramedics and Ambulance crews to improve survival rates.

The faster intervention commences, the more likely it is a patient with severe bleeding will live.

The Home Office has granted Leicestershire an extra £1.4m in 2019-20 to finance operational activity and preventative work to combat knife crime.

With knife-related deaths and injuries across the UK reaching epidemic levels, it is critical the right educational and support infrastructure is built to prevent violence and support long-term change.

Like other areas, Leicestershire is taking a Public Health approach to violence, looking at the social, cultural and economic reasons behind violence and was recently chosen as one of 18 areas across the country to develop a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), thanks to a £880,000 grant.

Ends

Media enquiries: Sallie Blair 01283 821012

Posted on Thursday 19th September 2019
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