The quick reaction by a Newberry County Deputy Sheriff and advanced law enforcement equipment and training are being credited with saving a boater’s life on July 22 in Newberry County.
At about 7:30pm on July 22, the Newberry County 911 center received a call about a boating accident on Lake Murray. The deputy was in the area and told dispatch to tell the boater to pull up to the boat ramp so they could easily board the board.
The deputy arrived in 4 minutes of receiving the call. Once he boarded the boat, the deputy found a man who had a large laceration and major bleeding from the knee to his foot. The deputy removed a tourniquet from his belt and applied it to the man’s leg above the knee and stopped the bleeding.
Rescue Squad and EMS members arrived and the man was flown by helicopter for medical treatment.
Sheriff Lee Foster says that the medical personnel now say that the deputy almost certainly saved the man’s life because by stopping the bleeding until he could get medical treatment.
Sheriff Foster said that emerging trends in law enforcement had shown that law enforcement use of tourniquets had the potential to save lives for both law enforcement and civilians. The tourniquets were first used by the military and then by SWAT teams, but Sheriff Foster said that he knew he wanted to implement this tool to all the deputies in Newberry County.
While the original intent is for the deputy to use the tourniquet for themselves if they are shot, it can have a further use for other officers or civilians in the proper circumstances.
The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office purchased tourniquets for every officer and conducted mandatory training on the proper use of the tourniquet for every deputy about 2 years ago. Sheriff Foster said that uniformed deputies are required to wear the tourniquet as part of their duty belt equipment.
"While this is the fi rst time that a tourniquet was deployed and proved lifesaving, we are convinced that this tool will continue to prove itself invaluable for law enforcement and citizens throughout Newberry County," said Sheriff Lee Foster.
Lieutenant Michael Claytor was the deputy who used the tourniquet. He is a 7 year law enforcement veteran of the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and is assigned as a shift supervisor in the patrol division.