Dubois Co. church assembling trauma kits for law enforcement
DUBOIS CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Shiloh Methodist Church held an event last year, thanking first responders for their work in the community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shiloh Church Pastor Dan Sinkhorn, who has previously worked as both a firefighter and an EMT, says during the event, one of the speakers brought up the concept of “trauma kits” being used in Indianapolis.
He was intrigued.
“One of the people who spoke introduced these trauma kits that they were creating for police officers and law enforcement that were a big enhancement over what they typically carry,” says Sinkhorn, “and had much more life-saving potential for fallen officers as well as for people who might assistance.”
Given his background, Sinkhorn jumped at the idea.
“I went to the people who create the trauma kits, and I said, ‘Hey, I’d like to supply, on behalf of Shiloh Church, all of our local police officers here in Jasper with kits,’” says Sinkhorn.
All of the sudden, they were off, donating the money and offering up their church to host an event packing up the kits.
Another spearheader of the event, Bill Westfall, who is a Marine and former State Trooper, also recognized the importance of kits like these in the hands of local law enforcement.
“You know it’s a unique profession. You can take a life, you can save a life, or you can give a life, and this gives them the opportunity to save a life,” says Westfall.
Inside the kits, there’s a variety of potentially life-saving tools.
There’s a pair of scissors, gloves, a throat-clearing device, a bandage that can help bind and stop bleeding, a tourniquet, and a prayer card written by Pastor Sinkhorn.
On Thursday, with the help of some volunteers, they packaged 400 of these trauma kits to hand out to local law enforcement.
Westfall emphasized that while these kits can be incredible life-saving devices, they also serve a secondary purpose.
That purpose? Building that trust in the community between residents and local law enforcement.
Westfall is hoping these trauma kits can help people see police as more than just a uniform, and that officers are there to help them, and they care about them. So often, according to Westfall and Sinkhorn both, police are on scene before EMS can arrive.
The kits are roughly $100 a pop, but Westfall says if they can save a single life with them, the cost is nothing.
He says the kits have helped save hundreds of lives up in Indianapolis already, ranging from people in the street to those who may be perpetrating some crime.
Westfall says it may take some time, but they’re hoping to have these kits across the entire state, making collaboration between law enforcement in the event of an emergency that much smoother.
Originally, Westfall says their plan was to take the kits from Indianapolis and travel south, dispersing them all over southern Indiana.
After seeing how much support they’ve received from churches, citizens and private donors, he’s hoping to expand across the entire state.
Anybody wishing to get involved is encouraged to reach out to Shannon Wambach at email@example.com, or to the Central Indiana Police Foundation.
Westfall says that any law enforcement agency who would like these kits just needs to contact them, and they’ll get the kits in your hands.
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