CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – – The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced that it has awarded a Safety Equipment Grant to the Glendale Heights Police Department (GHPD) to outfit their entire force of officers with lifesaving tourniquets inside of rugged duty belt cases. The GHPD uniform policy was amended to include mandatory wear of the North American Rescue Gen7 C-A-T Tourniquet inside of an Eleven 10 RIGID TQ Case with Basketweave finish as part of its official uniform. The grant was funded in large part by a strategic partnership with Law Enforcement United, along with contributions from North American Rescue and Eleven 10, and is valued at $3,818.38.
“Our officers are now equipped to render life-saving aid to themselves, fellow officers and members of our community,” said Chief Douglas R. Flint of the Glendale Heights Police Department. “Tourniquets are an essential piece of equipment that every officer should have access to on their duty belts.”
Tourniquets have proven to be incredibly effective in stemming blood flow to an injured extremity, and their use has vastly improved the survivability of soldiers in combat over the last two decades. That learning overseas is now being leveraged to save injured law enforcement officers here at home. When only precious minutes exist to treat such an injury, tourniquets are able to be applied individually or on a fellow officer to prevent excessive blood loss until that individual can be placed into medical care. As a secondary benefit, officers who carry a tourniquet are also able to use them to rescue a member of the community who may have experienced a similar type of injury. Spirit of Blue Foundation will replace any tourniquet that is used in the line of duty for the life of the tourniquet so that no officer who uses their tourniquet will have to go without one in the future.
To date, Spirit of Blue has granted over 3,300 tourniquets nationwide which have resulted in six documented saves – 5 with members of the community and one officers save which came in June of 2019.
“We are honored to place these 54 tourniquets into service here in Glendale Heights,” commented Todd Parola, Spirit of Blue co-founder and Board Member, who also lives in the Chicagoland area. “We are excited that these officers are now safer, and that they could end up saving a life as a result.”
The lead sponsor for the grant was Law Enforcement United (LEU), who has supported Spirit of Blue with over $280,000 in safety grant funding since 2015. LEU is an organization of active and retired police officers who honor fallen officers and raise funds to assist charitable organizations that serve the law enforcement community. Each year LEU members ride 250 miles or more into Washington, DC to participate in National Police Week events and carry flags in honor of fallen officers which are given to the surviving family members upon their arrival. Since its founding in 2009, LEU has raised over $6,750,000 for law enforcement causes. Other sponsors included North American Rescue and Eleven 10 who offered special pricing on the equipment.
Statistics released by the Officer Down Memorial Page show that 102 law enforcement officers have lost their lives in 2019. On average, 150 officers are lost in the line of duty each year. 37 of those deaths were firearm related, which so far has been the leading cause of officer deaths this year. The reality of these statistics, and the increasing number of underfunded law enforcement agencies across the country, fuel the Spirit of Blue safety grant initiative.
The Spirit of Blue Foundation actively encourages the public at large to honor and appreciate law enforcement officers who serve and protect our communities. By supporting the Spirit of Blue Foundation, the public can make an impact in the lives of law enforcement officers every day. To learn more about the Spirit of Blue, or to become an annual member, visit www.spiritofblue.org.
About The Spirit of Blue Foundation
The Spirit of Blue Foundation 501(c)(3) is based out of Rochester, NY and is dedicated to the enhancement of officer safety and vitality throughout the law enforcement community by promoting public awareness for their protection and fulfilling safety equipment and training needs. The Spirit of Blue Foundation develops and executes fundraising campaigns nationally with the support of partner non-profits, national retailers and safety equipment manufacturers. Fundraising proceeds are distributed in the form of Safety Equipment and Training Grants to law enforcement agencies across the country from local to federal levels. Since 2011 the Foundation has awarded 112 grants in 40 states.
Ryan T. Smith
Spirit of Blue Foundation