Indianapolis emergency medics receiving off-duty first-aid kits

Indianapolis emergency medics to receive off-duty first-aid kits

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) is equipping its employees with the tools to help more people when seconds could make the difference between life and death.

When IEMS employees are in ambulances, they have everything available that might be needed to render aid.

However, encountering someone in trouble on his or her drive home, providers would usually be out of luck. Now, they are getting the tools needed to help anyone, anytime.

IEMS employees take an oath to help the public when signing up for the job. That means when they see someone in trouble, even when not on the clock, they’re still expected to help if possible.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” IEMS Public Affairs Manager Brian Van Bokkelen said. “You never know when these things might happen. You never know when you’ll be called in to serve. They know what they need to do and they know how to treat someone.”

Approximately 350 first aid-kits are being given to IEMS employees to keep with them while off duty. That way, if they see someone in need, a single second won’t be wasted.

“The faster we can get resources out there, the better we have the chance of a happy ending,” Van Bokkelen said.

According to Van Bokkelen, the kits can be useful for all sorts of incidents, big and small.

“From a mass casualty, all the way down to just someone getting cut severely at a restaurant accidentally, it’s a way to get the resources out there and have them there on scene as quickly as possible,” Van Bokkelen said.

The kits are free, thanks to a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. While they may look like pretty basic kits, having things like tourniquets, Narcan, and hypothermia blankets, ensure that any situation is manageable.

“This is pretty thorough,” Van Bokkelen said. “For what we have packed into something this small, you can’t ask for much more in the immediate need… This kind of covers everything they might come across in a first response situation while we’re waiting for an ambulance to show up to bring even more supplies with them.”

The kits are still being put together and will be going out to employees over the next couple of weeks.