Cornyn, Whitehouse, Tillis, Coons Introduce Bill to Equip Law Enforcement with Trauma Kits
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Chris Coons (D-DE) released the following statements on introduction of their American Law Enforcement Sustaining Aid and Vital Emergency Resources (SAVER) Act, which would equip law enforcement officers with quality trauma kits so they can respond immediately if a civilian or fellow officer experiences a traumatic injury during a call:
“Law enforcement officers are often the first on the scene of a health emergency, but they can only do so much to triage an injury without the proper resources,” said Sen. Cornyn. “By providing these brave men and women with high-quality trauma kits, this bipartisan legislation would ensure they are well-equipped to respond immediately when it matters most and help bridge the gap between a crisis and emergency medical technicians’ arrival.”
“First responders on the frontlines every day need access to every life-saving intervention available,” said Sen. Whitehouse. “Our bipartisan legislation would set clear performance standards and best practices for emergency trauma kits used in the field, so that law enforcement officers have the tools and training they need to save lives.”
“As a strong supporter of our brave men and women in law enforcement, I am proud to co-introduce this legislation which would equip them with the tools they need to keep our communities safe,” said Sen. Tillis. “Ensuring law enforcement officers have effective trauma kits, will save countless lives, and make our communities safer.”
“As co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, I believe Congress should prioritize giving law enforcement the tools they need to adequately respond to a variety of emergency situations, both to protect the lives of other officers and members of the communities they are charged to protect and serve,” said Sen. Coons. “Ensuring that police and other law enforcement officers obtain quality, effective trauma kits will save lives, and I hope that my Senate Colleagues from across the spectrum will join me in supporting this commonsense bill.”
The effectiveness of a law enforcement trauma kit program depends in part on the contents and the quality of the kits. Medical professionals recommend that a kit include bleeding control supplies like tourniquets, bandages, non-latex gloves, scissors, and instructions. However, there is enormous variation in the products available on the market. The American Law Enforcement SAVER Act would:
- Establish baseline standards in consultation with law enforcement and medical professionals for trauma kits purchased using grant funding under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG);
- And require the development of optional best practices that law enforcement agencies can adapt for training law enforcement officers to use trauma kits and for deployment and maintenance of the kits in vehicles and government facilities.
The legislation is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Sergeants Benevolent Association NYPD, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association, Peace Officers Research Association of California, Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, National Criminal Justice Association, The Wounded Blue, American Trauma Society, Society of Trauma Nurses, American College of Surgeons, and American College of Emergency Physicians.