'Saving lives is part of my job'

Hanna Marshal office receives donation of IPOK


October 13, 2021

Mike Armstrong

Melissa Sikes, left, presents an IPOK to Trish Gonzales.

On October 1, the Hanna Marshal's office received two Individual Patrol Officer Kits (IPOK) from the Wyoming Central Healthcare Coalition (HCC).

"The Central Wyoming Health Care Coalition received 150 of them and we distributed them around the area of the state that we cover," Melissa Sikes, a charter member and representative of the Central region of HCC said. "I got six for the Hanna Marshal office, two for Medicine Bow Marshal office and two for the Sheriff's office for outlying officers."

Each of the five regional HCCs receive funding to improve disaster planning, response, mitigation and recovery.  Each HCC determines how best to spend its funds to improve the preparedness of its medical community.  During times of crisis, the HCCs help coordinate emergency medical response and care for the sick and injured.

The five Wyoming HCCs are Region 1-which covers the north east of the state-Big Horn Basin, Western Wyoming, Central Wyoming and Southeastern Wyoming. Hanna is in the Central Wyoming region.

Sikes recently presented the IPOK to interim Hanna Marshal Trish Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said she had seen kits like this in the military.

The IPOK from North American Rescue (NAR) is designed to provide personnel with a cost effective, compact and durable individual hemorrhage control kit to treat bleeding from penetrating and other traumatic injuries. These kits are packaged for small cube space and designed to fit into a BDU pocket, vest pouch or individual bag which allows personnel to keep a compact bleeding control kit on their person, where it is needed most. The contents are vacuum sealed in an easy-to-open, rugged, durable package featuring NAR's Red Tip Technology signature red tear notches.

"There is a tourniquet, dressing, a roll of gauze and some gloves," Sikes said. "The officer that has these could potentially save themselves if they were in a life threatening situation along with others that they might encounter who are hurt."

The pack actually came about for law enforcement and emergency personnel after the events of 9/11.

It was created, according to NAR, due to the crisis of today's global war on terrorism and the rash of domestic tragedies nationwide which continue to challenge virtually all aspects of emergency response models. The level of violence targeting the civilian community is unprecedented in our culture; whether talking about the workplace, schools, law enforcement and first responders. This terrible reality, NAR makes clear, is no longer a distant headline from a foreign battlefield.

Temporary prehospital emergency tourniquets are life-saving devices which rarely cause complications when appropriately trained rescuers apply the devices correctly. Although the total time a tourniquet remains in place is a major determinant of potential injury, an often overlooked aspect is the design of the device itself. 

"These are awesome to have," Gonzales said. "It is everything all rolled into one. It is all right there."

NAR said the IPOK vision was to take the knowledge of seasoned combat medics, leading technology providers and researchers, and be the leader in tactical casualty care solutions that are laboratory, field and combat tested.

"They are lifesaving," Gonzales said. "I am honored to get something like this because although I hope I never have to use one. I know tourniquets save lives. Saving lives is very much a part of my job."


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