PAPILLION – On Wednesday, Jan. 5, the Papillion Fire Department received a donation of nine bleeding control kits to aid in mass casualty events.
The kits were prepared locally by Talacko Safety Solutions, with funding support provided by CHI Health, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Rotella’s Italian Bakery. The kits will be placed in each of the department’s fire trucks and ambulances, as well as the Battalion Chief’s SUV.
Papillion Fire Chief Bill Bowes said in a press conference at Papillion Fire Station No. 1 in La Vista that the kits “contain everything all together in one compartment” needed for critical, multiple person incidents.
“What we are finding in events like the Las Vegas shooting is that there is just not enough equipment on location when needed,” said Dustin Talacko of Talacko Safety Solutions. “These are designed to be dropped off at a triage zone.”
Talacko, who also serves as an Omaha firefighter, was referring to the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 during a concert. A gunman fired more than 1,000 rounds, killing 60 people and wounding 411, with the ensuing panic bringing the number of injured to 867.
These high risk/low frequency events are more than just mass shootings, officials said. It is any event where the number of injured exceeds normal available medical resources like multiple vehicle crashes, injuries from tornados or other disasters, explosions and the like.
“It helps us bridge that gap between the time of injury and the time it takes to get these patients to the hospital,” Talacko said.
Each kit contains military grade tourniquets, pressure bandages, gauze, trauma sheers and decompression needles for collapsed lungs. Similar kits are already in use by the Omaha fire and police departments.
While these bags were donated to Papillion first responders, it is the hope to get the same equipment into businesses, schools and other facilities. Combined with training in a 90-minute program called “Stop the Bleed,” developed following the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, ordinary people can be taught to use these kits, according to Scott Brown, trauma outreach coordinator for CHI Health.
“It’s much like CPR was 40 years ago. If we can get this out into the public, and get it where it needs to be rapidly, it can make a difference and save people’s lives,” Brown said. “I would like to see these kits hanging in the airports like you see AEDs (heart defibrillators).”