CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Police Department responds to thousands of medical calls each year.
Now, thanks to a donation made possible by the trauma medical director at Mercy Medical Center, as well as a separate donation from the hospital itself, officers will be better equipped to respond to those calls.
“What may not be known is the Cedar Rapids police officers respond to a high number of medical emergencies every year,” said Police Chief Wayne Jerman during a news conference Friday at the police department. “These medical calls range from heart attacks, troubled breathing and other injuries, up to and including traumatic injuries.”
The police department responded to 3,612 medical calls in 2015 and have responded to more than 2,100 such calls so far this year.
“It is imperative our officers have the equipment, not just to perform law enforcement functions, but also to be able to render medical aid in those instances when a party dials 911.”
A partnership with Mercy Medical Center has allowed the police department to acquire more of that equipment. Through the Cornyn Family Charitable Fund, Mercy’s trauma medical director, Dr. Nora Royer, donated $10,829.60 to the police department. The charitable fund was established by members of Royer’s family.
That donation will allow the police department to purchase 30 Emergency Medical Services shears, 30 personal hemorrhage control kits and 260 Combat Application tourniquets.
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Royer said the American College of Surgeons has recommended equipping local first responders with the supplies necessary to safely control bleeding from traumatic injuries, especially given the rise of mass casualty and mass shooting incidents.
“In every city where tourniquets have been made available, lives have been saved,” Royer said Friday.
In addition to the donation from the charitable fund, Mercy Medical Center has donated 48 cases of protective gloves and two cases of rolled gauze.
Sgt. Michelle Omar, who oversees medical training and supplies for the department, emphasized the importance of the donations and keeping officers equipped.
“I really think this will make a difference,” Omar said. “Hopefully, the officers will never have to use these supplies. But, if they do, it has the potential to save lives.”