Saving lives one kit at a time

Published 3:54 pm Friday, July 27, 2018

Middlesboro police officer Joel Quillen donated a box of gunshot trauma kits to the Pineville Police Department as part of a fundraiser he started several months ago to get more medical supplies out in the field and save more lives.

Quillen stated that his personal interest in active shooter response started when he was stationed in Iraq in the early 2000s.

“Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of people who aren’t with us anymore because they bled to death. We know what the number one cause of death on the battlefield is, and that’s blood loss. So we got to looking, and that translates to civilian life too,” said Quillen.

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Quillen is certified on both a state and federal level in active shooter response.

He stated that in many cases of active shootings and gunshot wounds, people’s lives could have been saved if the proper medical equipment was available for officers to use on the scene instead of waiting for EMS to show up.

“What we noticed was that if every officer has these kits, about three to four people in these active shooter incidents could have possibly lived if they had been treated…with something like a tourniquet. It doesn’t take much training. It’s easy to use. These kits are based around bleeding control. They’ve got enough stuff on them to potentially stop two or three gunshot wounds,” said Quillen.

These trauma kits have already aided in saving the life of a Bell County person who was the victim of a stabbing.

“If anybody is interested, they can contact me on Facebook or get a hold of me at the Middlesboro Police Department. Any money that they give goes 100 percent to buying trauma kits for law enforcement officers,” he said.

As of the time of this current donation, every officer in Bell County will have one of the trauma kits in their cruiser.