University of Hartford President Walter Harrison announced on Tuesday, Feb. 16, that the University’s Public Safety officers have been trained to use and supplied with bleeding control kits designed to save the lives of people with heavy bleeding injuries in the event of an emergency or mass casualty event. The University is the first higher education institution in New England, and among the first in the nation, to equip its officers with these life-saving kits.
“I am proud that we are leading the way among universities in New England by having a Public Safety department that is prepared if we are ever faced with the unfortunate occurrence of heavy bleeding casualties,” said Harrison. “These kits, along with our trained officers, improve our ability to assist those who are injured in such events.”
According to the United States Office of Homeland Security, uncontrolled bleeding injuries can result from both manmade and natural disasters. If someone is severely bleeding in a mass casualty event, that individual could possibly die from blood loss before they are transported to a hospital. Prompt and proper use of a bleeding control kit can improve survival rates.
President Harrison said he is equally proud that the University of Hartford is serving as an example to other academic institutions. “We are demonstrating how others may want to prepare to be able to provide capable immediate response by Public Safety personnel with the very latest equipment available to protect students, faculty, and staff in a mass casualty event.”
During the event, Dr. Lenworth Jacobs, vice president of academic affairs at Hartford Hospital, joined University Public Safety officer Corporal Darren Pearson in demonstrating how a bleeding control kit works. The Quikclot Bleeding Control Kits that the University Public Safety officers carry are manufactured in Wallingford, Conn. by Z-Medica, LLC. Each kit includes two different kinds of tourniquets, “Combat Gauze” coated with a quick clotting agent, hemostatic dressing, gloves, and a marker to record the time at which the tourniquet was applied.
The quick clotting agent used on the gauze in the kits was created by University alumnus and current Regent, Francis Hursey A ’73, ’77. Hursey graduated from the University’s College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture and is a former Apollo Space Program engineer and current scientist and entrepreneur.
All of the University’s Public Safety officers have been trained to use the kits. University Public Safety Assistant Chief Michael Kaselouskas said, “The research is clear that these tourniquet devices effectively save lives if there is immediate application either self-applied or by someone else.”
Dr. Jacobs is chairman of Hartford Consensus, the national committee working to increase survival rates from active shooter and intentional mass casualty events. “It is critically important to engage the public and first responders in the effort to stop bleeding and save a life,” Jacobs said.
President Harrison said funding for the kits was donated by University Regent Rita Parisi and former regent Roger Klene MBA’90.
Parisi is senior vice president for Hartford HealthCare. She explained that she and Klene were aware that the kits are available at Hartford Hospital and thought they would be useful in the rare event that something would happen on campus. “It is my hope that the devices collect dust and are never needed,” she said.
Klene, the retired president and CEO of Mott Corporation, was a member of the Hartford Hospital Board of Directors for 15 years. He said, “While the potential for a shooting or bombing incident at the University is surely remote, the more I thought about the issue, the more certain I became that we should be as prepared as possible to save lives should it ever be necessary.”
Kaselouskas concluded, “After the generous donation of these devices to our department and the training and deployment of them to our officers, in the rare occasion that we may need them, they will help save lives when time matters.”