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Kit could save lives of police

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BATON ROUGE - Gloves, a tourniquet and blood clotting gauze are some of the few items contained in a small package put together to save lives in the most serious of emergency situations.

The creator, a former police chief, believes it's a Godsend in a tiny package.

Chris Howell's life was on the line when he was shot in the line of duty. The only thing that saved him was the small package of tools placed in his trunk for potentially deadly situations.  He survived and the experience has inspired a life pursuit, to have all police officers equipped with trauma kits specifically designed to treat gunshot or stab wounds in the line of duty.

"It's just like a bullet proof vest, to me," Chris Howell said. "It's the equivalent of walking around without a bullet proof vest; it's one of these necessary pieces of equipment you have to have."

In his drive to have every officer equipped, he formed an online platform called Project Triage.  The site accepts donations to provide registered police departments with the kits.

One former medical worker who noticed the cause wants officers in the Baton Rouge area outfitted with them.  She also thinks the kits can save the lives of many civilians.

"This could be used on your kid, this could be used on a police officer, this could be used on any shooting victim, stabbing victim, car accident victim," Laura Crochet said. "It would just change the whole dynamic of bleeding out."

Crochet said she got involved in the project after being married to a police officer.

"I want him to be able to come home. I want to be able to call him on the phone. This is a tool that can help him do that," Crochet said. "I was the wife at home praying I would never get that phone call or knock on the door."

No phone call or knock ever came, and Crochet wants more stories to be like hers. 

"I was a lucky wife," she added.

The kits cost $50 and can be a costly expense for many police departments. Crochet says she's trying to raise money and encourage donors to go to the website to donate money to police departments.

Howell says donors will receive a notice if a kit is used, so that they know that they helped save a life.

Area police departments that have signed up for the service include the Baton Rouge Police Department and the Denham Springs Police Department.

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