The distribution of more than 200 Quick Clot Trauma Belts for line officers of the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office and police departments in Alexandria and Pineville began on Friday.

The project to purchase these Trauma Belt Kits, or TBK, came about from the wife of a Pineville Police Department patrolman.

Jessica Swanson, an Emergency Department Clerk at Rapides Regional Trauma Center, began selling “Back the Blue” T-shirts following the death of three Baton Rouge area police officers this summer. What began as a small effort to perhaps fund dinner for local officers, quickly grew.

“I thought we would sell 50 shirts,” Swanson said.

Thanks to social media, 50 shirts quickly became hundreds and hundreds. After four orders and more than 2,000 shirts sold, Swanson changed her goal.

“We started saying, what can we do to truly make a difference?” she said.

That’s where the TBKs come in. The trauma kits are used by police officers in other cities. The kit, which easily attaches to an officer’s belt, includes gloves, CPR shield, tourniquet and Quick Clot gauze, which is designed to stop bleeding in the field.

“I’ve seen patients come into the Emergency Department who didn’t make it because they had lost too much blood and they didn’t get to us in time,” Swanson said.

The Rapides Regional Trauma Center, which treats approximately 3,500 major trauma patients on an annual basis, partnered with Swanson to purchase the TBKs for RPSO, APD and PPD. Each kit costs around $60 each.

Friday, TBKs were delivered to RPSO and Pineville Police. In addition, videos on how to use the kits were provided to help with training.

“This is just another tool policemen will have with them,” said Rapides Parish Sheriff William Earl Hilton. “Should the occasion arise where they get into a shooting situation or a cutting or maybe even a car wreck, these kits will be used to maybe save someone’s life and that’s what it is all about.”

TBKs will be distributed to the Alexandria Police Department on Monday, Nov. 14, along with graduates of the Alexandria Police Academy.

“There were 214 officers in the Alexandria Police Department, Pineville Police Department and Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office,” Ducote said. “We were happy to be able to supplement the money Jessica had already and order belt kits for every officer, along with several dozen extra.”

“The cost per kit doesn’t compare to the cost of someone’s life,” Swanson said. “The people I love will have something that will potentially save a life. And as a police wife, it’s very comforting to me to know that this is going to happen.”