The Flagler County Sheriff’s school resource deputies are now all equipped with rescue tactical ankle medical kits and rifle plates.
The ankle medical kits were provided through a renewable $1,000 grant from Walmart and bought from Rescue Essentials, where a trauma kit retails for $70. The Sheriff’s Office bought the plates. Each kit consists of a tourniquet, so-called Israeli bandages, and tactical nitrile gloves all stored inside an ankle worn medical holster.
The bandages were invented by an Israeli medic and commercialized by a Belgian firm in the late 1990s before a Texan firm acquired the company and began selling the product to the U.S. military, where the bandage acquired its nickname as “Israeli bandages.” The bandages have several features that help reduce or stop hemorrhaging in emergencies, before the patient reaches a hospital.
The kits are worn every day the SRD deputy is on duty so they can provide immediate care in case of a traumatic injury. Nitrile gloves–the sort of gloves paramedics use at emergency scenes–are stronger than latex, cheaper and more comfortable to wear. The complete ankle kit weighs about three quarters of a pound, according to a sheriff’s spokesperson.
The armored rifle plates are just under three quarters of an inch thick and weigh 1.53 pounds for the smaller size (and are considered to be a class of weapons: convicted felons may not possess them). See the specs here. These plates are designed to protect deputies against high energy bullets and add extra protection to the existing protective vest deputies wear each day.
“These trauma kits are essential not only in the event of an active assailant incident at a school, but in the event of an emergency when a tourniquet may be a lifesaving measure,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Of course our hope is that we’ve over prepared and we’ll never need them. But we will have them if we
do. We appreciate Walmart’s partnership in helping us serve our community in an emergency.”
Deputies are trained in first aid at the Police Academy, receive additional in-service training at the sheriff’s office, and through the Florida Association of School Resource Officers’ specialized training. SWAT medics trained deputies on the use of the ankle kits.
“Deputy [Sam] Bell is now a certified instructor in Tactical First Aid having attended emergency medical first aid training at FLETC and we will be implementing a tactical first aid class next year during DRT (deputy refresher training),” a sheriff’s spokesperson said in an email. FLETC is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers. The training is “to ensure that our sworn personnel can most effectively apply first aid emergency medical assistance to both our injured personnel and citizen victims in the critical minutes before EMS arrives.”
Thirteen deputies are assigned to the SRD unit in Flagler, including a manager and a sergeant. The SRDs works to improve the relationship between students and Deputy Sheriffs by serving full-time in Flagler County high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools. The SRDs also help ensure a safe environment for student learning. Patrol deputies are not wearing the ankle kits nor the plates. (See: “Mentor, Counselor, Law Enforcement Officer.”)