Texas Chief Wants to Train Officers in Tourniquet Use

A medical training initiative that proved invaluable in saving a San Antonio police officer's life was halted last year. Now, SAPD Chief William McManus is looking into bringing it back.


SAN ANTONIO --

Unique medical training proved invaluable in saving San Antonio police Officer Michael Thornton's life. The training was halted last year, but SAPD Chief William McManus is looking into bringing it back.

The medical training two responding San Antonio police officers received is credited with helping save Thornton's life.

"Officer (Nathan) Ramsey, when he showed up, (applied) the pressure, getting the bleeding controlled. Officer (Henry) Vera arrived with a tourniquet," Thornton said.

The officers employed new medical training they received last year during inservice.

"They gave us instruction on how to use a tourniquet and where major arteries are to help slow down blood flow," Ramsey said.

It was instruction, Ramsey said, that proved invaluable on Jan. 22 when Thornton was hit by an alleged drunken driver, severing part of his leg.

"I knew exactly what to do and how to react," Ramsey said.

Because of liability concerns, the training was temporarily halted after it's first year.

"The issue is, if there's a situation where we're unable to treat someone because of other business, or for whatever reason, we need to look at liability issues there," McManus said.

After seeing just how important that training was when it came to saving Thornton's life, McManus said he took steps to try and bring it back, meeting with city attorneys Friday morning.

"My preliminary feeling, based on the conversation we had this morning ... was that we will be able to continue this program," McManus said.

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