VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. — The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office received a donation of 71 tourniquet holsters in a collaborative effort with the Tourniquet On Person Project with Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and the Eric Zapata Foundation, saving county taxpayers a total just shy of $2,500 and potentially saving countless lives.
“I know there have been incidents in the state already where having it on a duty belt aided in saving a life. I cannot say thank you enough to WMed and the Eric Zapata Foundation for donating these holsters to our office,” Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott said in a written statement announcing the donation.
Abbott said this is a very welcome change to the department. In the past, deputies had to run back to their patrol cars to retrieve a tourniquet if somebody was in need of life-saving measures. Now, deputies will have the tool on the hip for quick access to save lives.
The TOP Project has supplied more than 1,000 tourniquet holsters to 33 police officers and medical first responders throughout Southwest Michigan in an effort to increase the “stop the bleed” time for officers wounded in the line of duty or civilians who are in need of life saving efforts due to arterial bleeding. The project reports that the Eric Zapata Foundation has purchased $35,490 worth of holsters and developed a training program, which is provided by the Oshtemo Fire Department. There is no cost for participating agencies for either holsters or training.
Since the project started in 2017, there have been a confirmed five lives saved due to tourniquet intervention measures, according to a written statement from the sheriff’s office.