Equipping the LAFD for mass shooting incidents
The Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) is requesting a grant to replace expired medical supplies on every Department Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic vehicle. These medical supplies are specifically designed to treat trauma injuries during active shooter/multi-casualty incidents, but could also be used for earthquakes, lost/injured hikers, cliff rescues, or any situation where trauma injuries are the primary concern for the patient. This vital project will allow the LAFD to do what they do best, keep Los Angeles safe.
What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
City of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Expand existing project, program, or initiative
What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?
Unfortunately, firearm deaths have become a fixture in American life. There have already been more than 250 mass shootings this year in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Thirty-eight have taken place since a rampage at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., left 19 children and two teachers dead on May 24. Mass shootings, where four or more people — not including the shooter — are injured or killed, have averaged more than one per day so far this year. Not a single week in 2022 has passed without at least four mass shootings. With these devastating statistics, we need to ensure Los Angeles is as prepared as possible for a mass shooting. An important step in this preparation is ensuring our City’s firefighters and paramedics has the proper supplies they need to treat victims.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
Over 360 LAFD rigs across the City are outfitted with a Trauma Treatment & Evacuation Aid Bag, which brings critical lifesaving equipment to patients in one compact backpack. It is specifically designed to treat trauma injuries during active shooter/multi-casualty incidents, but can also be used for earthquakes, lost/injured hikers, cliff rescues, or any situation where trauma injuries are the primary concern for the patient. This backpack allows LAFD to treat patients quickly and effectively due to its easy portability and ease of use. Unfortunately, some of the contents have passed the viable shelf life & require replacement, which is outside the City’s budget at this time. The highest priority items for replacements are the Quick Clot Combat Gauze (expired in 2017), and the Russel Chest Seal (expired in 2019). Although these two items are currently expired, they can still be used and have remained in service. However, the efficacy of the items becomes greatly reduced as time goes on. For example, the chest seals use an adhesive that allows the product to be placed over a sucking chest wound, and as time goes on past the expiration date the seals’ adhesive properties will begin to fail potentially leading to an increased risk of injury or death for a patient. The Quick Clot gauze is impregnated with a hemostatic agent that helps the body produce clots faster, this hemostatic agent becoming degraded over time which can lead to poor patient outcomes.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
Replacing these vital medical supplies could be the difference between life and death for any Angeleno during an emergency. In 2021 the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to 1,429 assault firearm incidents that resulted in 1,524 patients. There were also 1,183 assault stabbing incidents that resulted in 1,223 patients. Even a single patient who suffers a penetrating trauma injury like those caused by a gunshot or stabbing can benefit from the use of these medical items. When hemostatic gauze or a chest seal device is needed, it is potentially lifesaving. The goal is to prepare our LAFD paramedics as well as possible and ensure they have everything they need when an emergency strikes.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
According to a 2015 Mayo Clinic study, QuikClot Combat Gauze “is highly successful at stopping bleeding, with 59 of 62 injuries (95%) achieved hemostasis.” When EMTs arrive on the scene of an emergency that involves people who are bleeding, the most important task is to stop the bleeding. This gauze allows them to do that effectively. The Russell Chest Seal has also been thoroughly tested and proven on military operations and adheres effectively to skin. It is tested and proven to remain adhered over many hours and is comfortable for the patient in prolonged use. The LAFD maintains metrics on responses to all incidents and rate-of-use of supplies. Success will be proven through amount of lives saved with these supplies over the course of its duration in the field.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 3,600
Indirect Impact: 3,898,747