CPD probationary officer honored for saving man's life with tourniquet

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police recruits and officers are learning how to save lives like soldiers on the battlefield. By 2021, every officer will have a special medical kit on their vest.

A probationary officer who was off-duty on Sunday had a chance to test out his training and save a man's life -- and it all started because he wanted a pie.

"I was on the way to my Grandma's house with my wife. She wanted to get coffee, instead of going left, we went right. I was like, we'll go get a pie for Grandma," Officer Timothy Sweeney said.

Once they parked, a van hit a man in the 1600-block of West Chicago and his leg was bleeding. Sweeney had just learned to apply a tourniquet.

"One gentleman gave me his belt. I applied the belt and got it as tight as I could," Sweeney said.

Sweeney had just learned the skill as part of the training for new medical kits on officers' vests, called LEMARTS, donated by the Chicago Police Foundation.

"With the goal of initially providing 2,000 LEMART kits. So we are certainly pleased and honored to have had the opportunity to provide a kit that makes a difference across the city," said John Robak, of the Chicago Police Foundation.

Police will soon get 6,500 additional kits. Along with Sweeney, Officers Ruben Ramirez and Leonardo Prieto responded with a real tourniquet, which Sweeney applied.

"One of the officers said that was a life-saving maneuver and they were taking him to the nearest hospital, that was pretty much it. We finallly got our pie - me and the wife, afterwards for Grandma," Sweeney said.

All three of them were honored and received a challenge coin for their efforts.

The medical kits are critical for the time it takes to get someone from the street to the surgeon. Police say every officer will receive training and have a kit within two years.
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