OCPD Officers Use Chest Seals To Save The Lives Of Shooting Victims


Wednesday, September 29th 2021, 5:28 pm
By: Jennifer Pierce


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Paramedics and firefighters are not the only ones to rush into action to save lives. Oklahoma City police are often the first to show up at an emergency call.

The department has been using chest seals since 2016.

Police released body camera video of officers using chest seals in the field. The medical device is used as a large bandage to cover a serious wound.

In the video, an officer is seen helping a shooting victim and had to work fast.

Oklahoma City police Capt. Valerie Littlejohn said on Wednesday the chest seal only takes seconds to apply in a stressful situation.

“Seconds count for the amount of time that you need to help save someone’s life,” Littlejohn said. “A wound to the chest, if air is getting sucked into the chest and they’re able to put that seal on their chest.”

The chest seal stops the air from coming in and ultimately prevents further damage, such as a collapsed lung or death. 

Often police are first to a scene before EMSA or fire crews. They are trained in first aid and all Oklahoma City patrol officers carry lifesaving equipment. 

“It happens a lot where we show up on a scene and someone has been shot or someone is injured,” said Littlejohn. “And an officer has to render aid and use something.”

The victim is then ready for paramedics to take them to the hospital to be treated.

“That is what we want to do as officers,” said Littlejohn. “We want to do whatever we can to make sure we’re out there providing services and saving lives.” 

Officer also carry Narcan and tourniquets in their first aid kits.