A Case for Saving Lives: LASPD TCCC Pouch by Maxpedition
Written by Mark Morimoto, Senior Police Officer for the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD)
In 2013 the Los Angeles School Police Department identified a gap within our Immediate Action, Rapid Deployment (Active Shooter) capabilities. We trained extensively in team tactics, room entry, threat identification, and threat neutralization. We discussed encountering victims as well as taking casualties to officers during the deadly encounter. What we did not do, however, was address the need to provide trauma care and/or triage for victims. The training model at that time did not allow rescue personnel/paramedics to enter the incident nor were law enforcement trained to care for victims. The potential result was a loss of lives that could have been prevented.
It was clear we needed equipment and training, as well as a shift in our response model, to give officers the tools needed to treat traumatic injuries, in particular, a massive hemorrhage.
Working closely with the Los Angeles Fire Department, we initiated a program consistent with the military model of Tactical Combat Casualty Care, or TCCC. Fire Departments were changing their protocols regarding their response to an active and ongoing deadly threat. While they could not enter the “Hot Zone” where the threat is active, policy was created allowing them to enter the “Warm Zone” with a police escort.
Next, we addressed the question of what type of equipment was necessary and appropriate. We considered all available man-portable trauma tools; tourniquet, bandage, gloves, NP airways, disinfectant, hemostatic agents, chest seals…the list went on and on. The decision was made to make the kit small and light, with only those tools that would be needed to provide immediate trauma care, ie, a tourniquet and a bandage. After suffering a massive hemorrhage, time is critical, and we wanted our officers to be able to quickly access their tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Having too many tools at their disposal could be as problematic as not having enough, and in that critical moment a few seconds spent trying to find the right tool in a sea of equipment could result in the loss of life.
Senior Police Officer Mark Morimoto examines the contents of his Trauma Kit
Once we decided on the tools we were going to deploy, we had to decide how to deploy them. Should we just issue the equipment to officers and let them carry (or not carry) however they please? Should we mandate they carry a tourniquet on their person? If so, where and how? There were too many variables for individual carry. We cannot configure every officer exactly the same (size, weight). What we could do was configure every car the same, or similar enough as to have any differences be negligible. A trauma kit in every car made the most sense for our needs.
A Trauma Kit is mounted in a quick access location inside an officer's cruiser so it is completely out of the way of other vital equipment. His trusted Skylance™ Tech Gear Bag 28L resides in the passenger seat.
Prior to our partnership with Maxpedition, we met with two other major manufacturers in the Los Angeles area. Both were enthusiastic, but when it came time to actually design and produce our kit we encountered problems. One company wanted a minimum order of several thousand units. The other stopped returning messages. Basically, we wasted two months trying to work with these two companies.
Completed LASPD Individual Trauma Kit developed in collaboration with Maxpedition
After our first meeting with Maxpedition, we had a working prototype within 7 days. Our final prototype was produced within two weeks, and we had our first order of 400 units delivered within 6 weeks of our first meeting. Working from scratch, their design team created the kit to our exact specifications.
- Red for high visibility
- Velcro backed for storage in vehicles
- Two zipper pulls
- Pull/carry handle with clip to fit a baton ring
- Interior elastic retention for tourniquet and bandage
- Interior clear window for instruction card
Senior Police Officer Mark Morimoto exiting his vehicle with the Maxpedition built LASPD Individual Trauma Kit
All our vehicles have a Maxpedition Trauma Kit installed, two officer vehicles have two. All our personnel have received TCCC training in the use of the kit, tourniquet, and pressure bandage. We have had several kit deployments, including two tourniquet applications to victims of gunshot wounds.
Thank you Maxpedition! Without your response to our needs, we would not have been able to initiate our program so quickly and efficiently.