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Furman boosts preparedness with trauma kits

Lieutenant Victor Rivas holds one of the Tramedic Trauma Kits that have been installed around campus. Rivas has been training Furman employees to use them.

Furman University Police Chief John Milby stresses that the odds of anyone ever having to use the trauma kits that the police department began installing this summer are slim. However, slim is not the same as none, and staying at the forefront of crisis management means recognizing the value of being able to provide rapid medical care in an emergency.

When police get to the scene of an active shooter, they typically bypass the injured in order to pursue the shooter, according to Milby.

“So teaching people on campus how to treat traumatic injuries for blood loss and stop the bleeding is really important,” he said.

To that end, Furman has purchased eight Tramedic trauma kits from Tactical Medical Solutions, a company based in Anderson, South Carolina. Called Tramedicubes, the kits are enclosed in metal cabinets and contain tourniquets, shock blankets and bandages for packing and dressing wounds.

Kits have already been installed in McAlister Auditorium, the James B. Duke Library and dining hall, with others slated for the Trone Student Center, the Lay Physical Activities Center and academic buildings. Employees at each location have or will be trained by Lieutenant Victor Rivas, who worked as a medic in the Navy Hospital Corpsman and at a level-one trauma center before becoming a law enforcement officer.

In addition, the police department purchased tourniquets for officers to carry.

“We just wanted to be proactive and make this stuff available on campus,” Milby said, adding that the trauma kits could be life-saving in a variety of emergency situations.

While gun violence around the country has risen, college campuses remain among the least-likely places to be the location of a shooting.

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