NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s rare when a member of the police force receives our Hometown Hero award because it’s a given that these men and women are heroes. But this week, we made an exception for not one, but two officers in Niles who used their military triage training to save a man’s life.
Officers responded to a domestic dispute on Aug. 19 where a man ended up putting his arm through a plate glass window. Two officers at the scene, Ryan Ifft and Patrick Cox, realized the man was about to bleed out and that paramedics wouldn’t get there in time.
The man fell to the ground begging for help, saying he didn’t want to die, so Ifft and Cox quickly ran to their cruisers for tourniquets. Two tourniquets were needed.
“As the individual walks out of the building, we can see he has a significant bleed on his right arm. In fact, when he walked outside, he was bleeding so badly, it sounded like a garden hose squirting blood out on the concrete. This was an arterial bleed in the upper arm, and there was a second cut in the lower arm,” Cox said.
Both are military veterans, and their training in combat triage helped save the man’s life.
It was the first time they had to use a tourniquet in a life-threatening situation. Ifft said it worked as advertised.
“I believe it did. I think if we didn’t have these tourniquets, he probably wouldn’t have made it. He was leaking blood so bad,” Ifft said.
Both Ifft and Cox demonstrated how to apply a tourniquet.
“Above the wound — you don’t want to have it on the joint, on the wound, it needs to be above the wound. You’re going to sinch that strap all the way down as tight as you can and apply that velcro onto itself. You’ll take this metal bar here, which is referred to as the winless, you will begin turning that — it’s going to get very tight, it’s going to get very uncomfortable. That’s going to squeeze all that tissue down onto the bone. Crank down on that artery. Once you notice the flow of blood is stopped, you’ll place the winless inside the holding bracket. Place the tape over there and bam, you may have just saved a life,” Cox explained.
Watch the video above for the demonstration.