Tourniquet Kit Helped Save Valley Brook Police Officer After Being Shot

Wednesday, January 4th 2017, 7:12 pm
By: News 9

The man accused of shooting a Valley Brook police officer on New Year’s Day made his first appearance before a judge.

Cory Lee Hartsell, 27, had his video arraignment Wednesday afternoon, and said nothing as the judge read the complaint against him. He is yet to be formally charged, and is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Right now, the Valley Brook officer who was hit, Brian Southerland, is still recovering in the hospital.

One of the things credited with saving his life is a tourniquet kit in a responding deputy's patrol car.

Both the tactical team and many of the patrol cars at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office have those portable tourniquet kits and they've been credited with saving other lives too.

Minutes after Valley Brook officer Brian Southerland was shot in the leg during a traffic stop, he was calling for help on his police radio.

Oklahoma County deputy Johnny Berryman was less than a mile away from the scene near Interstate 240 and Eastern and ended up having the crucial tool needed to stop the bleeding. It was the tourniquet inside that kit that helped save Southerland's life.

Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said that's exactly why many of their deputies carry them.

“This is about the third time it has been used on a law enforcement officer who has been shot, and (it) saved three lives that we know of,” said Whetsel.

Whetsel said they began providing the kits and training to their officers several years ago.

Dr. Curtis Knoles  is one of the doctors who helps train officers how to use these lifesaving kits.

He said the kits and the training are free, thanks to a federal grant program provided by the Department of Homeland Security, the OU College of Medicine and EMSC (Emergency Medical Services for Children).

“The Department of Homeland Security has actually funded all the kits so every officer who attends the course goes home with one of them,” said Knoles.

The program is taught at the CLEET academy and has already trained more than 2500 officers across the state. And Dr. Knoles says the goal is to train every officer in Oklahoma.

And Sheriff Whetsel says he couldn't be more proud of his department and his deputy for taking part in the program and saving a life.

“Just in the right place at the right time with the right equipment to save that officer's life,” said Whetsel.

Valley Brook police Chief Michael Stamp said he plans on adding the training and the kits to his department after seeing how it helped save one of his own officers.

He also had this to say about the deputy who came to the rescue.

“I need to meet him and shake his hand and say thank you,” said Stamp. “I promise you those tourniquet kits in our cars. They are lifesaving!”