Serving Others, Saving Lives
Meeting a community need
When police officers respond to the scene of a serious injury, they often can do little more than wait for an ambulance to arrive. But a simple kit containing items such as bandages, scissors, a tourniquet, and an airway device has been proven to help stop bleeding in traumatic injuries. This dramatically reduces the mortality rate when used by an officer in the first six minutes.
For the past five years, The Father’s House church in Indianapolis has shown its gratitude to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) by hosting an annual “roll call” event for approximately 200 officers across two districts. Amway Independent Business Owner Cathy Brown – the event’s organizer – explains that in 2013, the officers told the church about a special need: trauma kits for their force.
“Each year we give meals and a gift to the officers before they head back out into the streets,” says Cathy. “And last year we learned that, due to budget issues, officers aren’t armed with any lifesaving equipment. We set a goal of providing each attending officer a kit.”
The church reached out to the local community for support, and the response was overwhelming. Donations started pouring in, and the church raised the $20,000 needed to present kits to all 200 officers.
“The effort struck an emotional chord with everyone,” says Cathy. “People are always looking for a way to give back and do something positive. This was a project that could help our law enforcement and the people they serve in a very real way.”
Expanding the impact
Many members of the community gave their time and resources: local banks, boys and girls clubs, restaurants, and even a professional football team and a national health care company.
Once the Fraternal Order of Police® and the Department of Public Safety joined in, the church decided to increase their goal to making kits for the entire IMPD – all 1,500 officers.
A year later, The Father’s House church has now met its goal: Each IMPD officer now has a personal trauma kit, and they’ve become standard issue for every new recruit in order to save countless lives.
The effect of these kits is clear. “Just 24 hours after being issued a trauma kit, an officer used it to save the life of a 5-year-old child who had been shot,” says Cathy. “Several days later, another officer used his kit to save his own life after he suffered a gunshot wound. And the stories keep coming in.”
A continuing effort
Communities across the nation have contacted Cathy, wanting to give their officers these same vital tools. She’s even made a Facebook® group, Trauma Kits for Police Officers, that shares instructions, a list of needed supplies, SKU numbers, and vendor information so others can easily do the same.
“My experience as an IBO, and specifically through the Yager Group, has taught me that people can come together to make positive changes,” Cathy says. “As IBOs, we’re not just learning the business – we’re learning how to make a difference in people’s lives. So instead of thinking that this was too big, we said, ‘We can do this.’”
Cathy is thrilled that the once local project has created a ripple with such far-reaching effects. “This is a personal effort that intimately affects everyone in a community,” she says. “It’s a beautiful thing.”