Tourniquet Saves | A Program of the Eric Zapata Memorial Foundation Advocating Tourniquets Awareness and Readiness

Officer’s use Tourniquet to Save Life of Women with Severed Arm

Two Carlsbad Police Department officers are being recognized for using their quick thinking and combat training to save the life of a young woman whose arm was severed in a scooter crash.

“She even asked me, ‘Am I going to live?’ And I said, ‘I’m very confident you’re going to [live],’” Cpl. Reid Shipley, of the Carlsbad Police Department, told NBC 7 in an exclusive interview Wednesday night.

Shipley was referring to Lauren Scott, a 19-year-old woman who crashed her scooter into a center median on Cannon Road near Hemingway Drive at around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday in a suspected DUI collision. After hitting the median, Scott was thrown from her scooter. She then struck a road sign, the impact severing her arm.

Shipley said the crash happened during the police department’s early morning shift change, just as he had left the police station.

“I was on my way home when a bystander flagged me down. There was a vehicle collision involving a motorcycle,” he recalled.

His colleague, Officer Stephen Brown, was finishing his last call and was the closest help. They rushed to the site of the crash only to discover a bloodied, frightened young woman.

“She was moving around a little bit more. I noticed there was an increased amount of bleeding so that’s when we decided to apply a tourniquet to her,” Brown told NBC 7.

Tourniquets, now clipped to the utility belts of every Carlsbad police officer, became part of the department’s uniform just two weeks ago.

For Shipley and Brown, the new tool was invaluable during this emergency.

Tactical combat casualty care is the latest police training method. The techniques, born of war, focus on treatment of any life-threatening injury and are proving effective in modern policing.

As members of the SWAT team, Brown and Shipley were trained in this method before the rest of the department. The scooter crash was the first time their training was put to the test.

“It’s one of the reasons I became a police officer. It’s great to be able to help people that are in need,” said Brown.

“When [Scott] was transported, she seemed like she was doing well,” Shipley explained. “I am excited that hopefully we were able to give her more of a future.”

The crash is under investigation but police suspect alcohol was a factor. A witness told officers the DUI suspect was also speeding and was unable to negotiate a turn in the road just before she lost control and plowed into the median.

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