Bethlehem EMS Chief and COO Steven Kroll. Photo by Diego Cagara
BETHLEHEM — The Bethlehem Police Department and Delmar-Bethlehem EMS have once again joined forces, this time to provide each police vehicle with a kit containing first aid and other emergency supplies, to better equip police officers to save lives and improve emergency response time.
During a press event held on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Delmar-Bethlehem EMS Selkirk station at 1121 U.S. Route 9W, Bethlehem Police Chief Louis G. Corsi and Delmar-Bethlehem EMS Chief and Chief Operating Officer Steven Kroll presented three of the 25 kits, further reinforcing the two departments’ strong partnership.
“We have great cooperation with Bethlehem EMS,” said Corsi. “I can’t speak enough about their generosity. These kits are phenomenal and I certainly hope they make great use of them.”
Each kit contains a variety of supplies including a pair of trauma shears, a CPR mask with wipe, four tourniquets, a rescue blanket, and tape. “Small cuts can happen too,” said Kroll, gesturing at the box of Band-Aids which would remedy that.
Having these kits in police vehicles ultimately benefits the victims, as Kroll noted that police often arrive at the scene two to three minutes before emergency medical and fire department personnel do, because they may have already been patrolling nearby.
He added that all town police officers are trained in first aid and can therefore provide the victim with the medical attention he or she needs that much sooner, leading to the overall improvement of emergency response times.
“If somebody’s heart stops, all the police cars on the road have defibrillators and police officers can arrive early to give CPR and use them,” said Kroll. “These kits are filled with trauma supplies, so if somebody has severe bleeding, the police now have the supplies they need to help and stop the bleeding.”
He added that this effort is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Stop the Bleed campaign, a national initiative which seeks to “encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.” Bystanders are considered to be the first on the scene before police or EMS arrive, and if they know how to properly tend to an injured victim, it could help save more lives.
The police’s new emergency supply kits cost between $2,000 to $3,000 overall and were paid for by Delmar-Bethlehem EMS, according to Kroll. Whenever used, they will be replenished immediately.
When asked about the possibility of running out of supplies if reporting to a major event that may have many fatalities, such as a school shooting or natural disaster, Bethlehem Police Cmdr. Adam Hornick said, “We’ll always be prepared and we won’t run out of them.”
Kroll said, “We are all—the PD, the Fire Department, the county sheriff, paramedics, and Delmar-Bethlehem EMS—engaged in preparation.
“We have the equipment to respond to incidents with major casualties and certainly in today’s world, we’re spending more time preparing for those things. I’m hoping it will never happen, but we’re ready if they do.”
Corsi also expressed his support of supplying each police vehicle with an emergency supplies kit.
“We’re grateful for these supplies and if we can mitigate a crisis or emergency until the EMS [arrives] on the scene, then we’re going to do everything that we can so I hope this is a step forward for all of us.”
Kroll concluded by saying that the kits had already been distributed across all Bethlehem police vehicles as of that day.
“Our hope is that even if we save one life, that’s a big accomplishment.”
For more information about the national Stop the Bleed campaign, visit https://www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed.