Ohio cops who saved gunman’s life used chest seal they bought with own money
The police union is now calling on the department to ensure officers are equipped with all the lifesaving equipment they need – without spending their own money
By Sarah Calams
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Over the weekend, two Columbus (Ohio) Police Department officers were fired at by a suspect who pulled a shotgun on them.
The officers, who were initially called to a neighborhood for a report of shots fired, arrived to find suspect Lamar Blue with his hands in his pockets. Officers asked Blue to remove his hands, but he pulled a shotgun from behind his body and opened fire on the officers seconds later. Officers returned fire and struck Blue, but he continued to flee from them. The officers found Blue and provided medical attention by using a chest seal to save his life.
After the incident, the police union said the officers bought the chest seal – along with other first aid supplies – with their own money, CWColumbus.com reported. In some cases, officers are spending hundreds of dollars to ensure they have lifesaving equipment needed on the streets.
“Our officers are not bare minimum people,” Brian Steel, VP of the department’s Fraternal Order of Police, said. “If officers think they have a better chance of saving somebody’s life by investing in their own money for lifesaving stuff, they will do it all day long.”
Steel is now calling on the department to help ensure officers are equipped with all the lifesaving equipment they need: “We are police officers. We are not billionaires. They are cutting into their own money – they are willing to pay for it. We would like the division to step up and pay.”
Officers are not currently reimbursed for any extra medical equipment they purchase, according to the report. There are first aid kits issued by Columbus Police, which are placed in every department cruiser.
Police Chief Elaine Bryant says she’s taking the matter into consideration.
“We are assessing every day, what the needs will be and what we need to do our job,” Bryant said. “So that’s a conversation we are having in what we should have in those vehicles.”
Blue has been charged with two felony first-degree counts of assault on a peace officer.
Watch: How to apply a chest seal