SOFTT-W Tourniquet

An Oklahoma police officer is alive tonight thanks to a fast-acting Oklahoma County Sheriff’s deputy equipped with a tourniquet.

It started out as a normal traffic stop but ended with Valley Brook Officer Brian Southerland in the hospital.

Around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Southerland was rushed to the emergency room in critical condition after being shot in the leg near I-240 and Eastern during a traffic stop.

Officials said the officer had his back turned and was making his way back to his vehicle when the driver shot him in the leg.

“It’s dangerous anytime you pull somebody over and, in this case, he had actually already made contact with the person he had pulled over and, then, he turned around to walk back to the vehicle,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Spokesman Mark Opgrande. “A sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene and began giving CPR and putting a tourniquet on him to stop the bleeding.”

Officer Southerland was hit in the femoral artery and lost consciousness after Cory Hartsell shot him and drove away. Hartsell was later arrested and and is being held on a $1 million bond.

After learning to use tourniquets at the Defense Against Street Crimes class (course review) at Gunsite Academy, I was inspired to seek out more tactical medical training at Sheriff of Baghdad’s Basic Trauma Management class (read the course review), and those courses together have convinced me that carrying a tourniquet is every bit as vital (and probably more-so, if you have to choose) than a spare magazine.

Based upon the opinions of experts I trust, I can only recommend the Tac Med Solutions SOFTT-W and North American Rescue CAT. They are the two combat-proven tourniquets with the most real world saves. There are many other tourniquets on the market with interesting potential, but I’m not about to experiment with them with my life, or the lives of those I love.

Please consider adding a tourniquet from one of these two vendors (neither of which have compensated me or Bearing Arms in any way) to your every day carry. It’s not a bad idea to add one to your range bad and vehicles, either.

Tourniquets are vital to help Stop the Bleed, which is why they are the focus of a Department of Homeland Security campaign by that name.

When there’s a gunfight, someone is likely to get shot. Too many times the wounded are good guys, without the right emergency medical supplies and training.

Don’t be left feeling helpless, folks.