TULSA, Okla. – Three Tulsa police officers are being called heroes for their quick action at a gas station shooting.
It happened near 21st and Garnett on Monday night. Customers found the clerk lying on the ground with three bullet wounds.
We’ve learned that officers used a special dressing to stop the bleeding, and to keep the victim alive until EMSA arrived.
Every single Tulsa police officer has a special kit inside their car that has several live-saving items inside. In this case, the officers used halo chest seals to stop the clerk’s bleeding.
Officer Justin Kerns along with Officer Craig Lagrone and David Weakley were presented with a life and death situation on Monday night.
“He had blood on his shirt and he was drifting in and out of consciousness,” says officer Kerns.
Leaping over the counter, the men sprang into action.
“I saw bullet holes one in the right side of his chest area, and the other a little further up around his shoulder,” says Kerns.
Every officer carries an IFAK or an individual first aid kit inside their car. The men were able to grab the halo chest seals and use them to stop the clerk’s bleeding.
“I placed them on the gentleman’s injuries on his bullet holes in the chest and one in the shoulder,” says Kerns.
The seals stop air from going into the wound and also keep out dirt so the victim doesn’t get an infection.
“We kept him alive and kept him responsive and talking until they arrived,” says Kerns.
Officer Kerns tells FOX23 that having these kits inside their cars gives them a tremendous sense of security knowing they can help save a life.
“We’re not just out there finding criminals. Anybody who needs helps, we’re out there to help them,” he says.
Though the clerk’s wounds were life-threatening he is now in stable condition at St. John Medical Center.
Special Operations Team paramedic and officer, Anthony First says because officers like Kerns, Lagrone and Weakley are often first to arrive on scene, it’s vital they can provide some medical care.
One of the most popular items they use to do this are the HALO Chest Seals.
“The goal of any kind of chest injury when you have air and blood in the chest creating problems for the patient, is to just cover the hole,” says First.
First says the officers also rely heavily on the other items in their pack.
“They also have shears in them and some material called quick-clot combat gauze. It’s gauze that has a special chemical on it that stops heavy bleeds. They can literally pack a wound and they’ve done that several times as well and shut down the bleeding with that chemical,” says First.
FOX23 has learned that each pack costs about $45 and can often be the difference between life and death.