Central Berks Regional Police Department Receives Tourniquet Grant From The Spirit of Blue Foundation.
READING, PENNSYLVANIA –– The Spirit of Blue Foundation announced that it has awarded a Safety Equipment Grant to the Central Berks Regional Police Department (CBRPD) to outfit its entire force of 20 officers with tourniquets, along with 15 trauma kits to be placed in their fleet of vehicles. The tourniquets and trauma kits were purchased through North American Rescue and the tourniquet duty belt holders were provided by Blue Force Gear. The grant was funded by a partnership with Law Enforcement United is valued at $2,609.
“I would like to thank Spirit of Blue for this generous grant,” stated Chief Raymond Serafin of the Central Berks Regional Police Department. “Although it is gear that we pray we will never have to use, it is comforting to know that we now possess this medical equipment that could save the life of a law enforcement officer or a civilian that we are sworn to protect if the need ever arises."
Tourniquets are vital pieces of medical equipment that officers require on the road in the event of a traumatic injury to an extremity. When only precious minutes exist to treat such an injury, tourniquets are able to be applied individually or on a co-worker 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. The Individual Police Officer Kits (IPOK) will be placed in each of the department vehicles and contains an additional tourniquet, Combat Gauze, an emergency trauma dressing and sterile gloves.
To date, Spirit of Blue has granted 996 tourniquets nationwide and three documented Community Saves have been made as a result.
“We are finding that the trend toward issuing tourniquets amongst law enforcement is in many ways driven by military veterans who are becoming law enforcement officers and are bringing critical skills from those experiences into their new careers,” explained Ryan T. Smith, Executive Director of the Spirit of Blue Foundation. “The US Military has proven the effectiveness of tourniquets in battlefield survivability after injury and veterans joining law enforcement are bringing that knowledge with them.”
Law Enforcement United (LEU), the grant’s sponsor, is an organization of 1,000 active and retired police officers who honor fallen officers and raise funds to assist charitable organizations that serve the law enforcement community. Each year members of the organization ride 250 miles or more into Washington, DC to participate in National Police Week events and carry flags in honor of each fallen officer which are given to the surviving families upon their arrival. Since its founding in 2009, LEU has raised over $5,750,000 for law enforcement causes.
Statistics released by the Officer Down Memorial Page show that 66 law enforcement officers have already lost their lives in 2018 – a 12% increase over the same period in the year previous. 29 of those deaths were firearm related, a 38% increase over the same period in 2017. 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 make a donation, visit www.spiritofblue.org.
Image Caption – Chief Raymond Serafin of the Central Berks Regional Police Department (left) accepts the tourniquet grant from Wallace “Chad” Chadwick (right) who serves as the Executive Director of Law Enforcement United (LEU). LEU sponsored this grant and was privileged to be able to make the presentation on behalf of Spirit of Blue.
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 63 grants in 28 states valued at over $300,000.
Ryan T. Smith
Spirit of Blue Foundation
54 Enwright Drive
Fairport, NY 14450