MANSFIELD, Ohio – Mansfield Police officers will be better equipped to help injured people thanks to the efforts of the Mansfield Rotary Club and the wives and girlfriends of local officers.

Rotarian Amber Vuillemot, girlfriend of Mansfield Police Chief Ken Coontz, said that Christa Brubaker, whose husband Chad is a sergeant, was the one who spearheaded the drive.

“She came to me with an idea of the Police Wives getting these tactical first aid kits for cruisers, as well as toys and stuffed treats for the K-9s; and we thought, what can we do,” Vuillemot said.

After Vuillemot and other Rotary members made a presentation to the Rotary board, the club approved a donation of $2,200 to the Mansfield Police Department for rapid response tactical first aid kits.

Rotary President Brad Bodah said the donation will provide every cruiser in the department with a new first aid kit, and there will be two leftover. “We did this so our police cars in Mansfield will always have the proper tools for officers to do their jobs,” Bodah said.

Vuillemot said several area businesses have agreed to help donate money to keep the kits replenished as officers use them.

Coontz said what the police cruisers have now are very basic kits with a few band-aids and some gauze, so officers can only help victims with very minor injuries. Otherwise, they have to wait until the ambulance arrives.

 “When you talk about the community and you talk about crime, you guys would be shocked if you spent 48 hours in a police cruiser and went from call to call, and could see that these guys are showing up at calls where guys are stabbed," Coontz said.

"People don’t die every day, but trust me, people are getting hurt, they’re getting injured, they’re getting beaten, they’re getting beaten with baseball bats, stabbed with knives, being left for dead, being raped, being abducted at gunpoint. All that has happened in probably the last six months. You don’t know what you don’t know,” Coontz said. “That’s why these medical kits are extremely important to us. “

Coontz told the Rotarians that the law enforcement personnel who arrived on the scene of the Louisiana movie theater shooting last month had the same kits that Mansfield officers will now have and were able to save many lives because they had high-quality first aid kits in their vehicles.

“Although I hope we will never have to deal with something like that in our community, it’s nice to know that we are prepared, and that we have community support from businesses like you,” Coontz said. “Instead of us helping the community, the community is helping us back and we really appreciate the efforts of Rotary,” Coontz said.

Vuillemot said the kits should be in the cruisers within a few weeks.

Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

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