There When You Need It
The average police duty belt today can weigh 15 pounds or more. That’s understandable when one considers that firearms, ammunition, handcuffs, radios, flashlights, and more can be found on these indispensible platforms. Increasingly, mobile devices, weapons like pepper spray or TASERs, and cellphones are also regular fixtures.
Another common item found somewhere on the officer’s person is the emergency medical kit. This is one item every agency wants to ensure their officers carry, but medical kits need to remain unobtrusive enough that they do not become a burden and are left behind by officers. That is where Chinook Medical Gear comes in. The Colorado-based vendor sells various modules or kits designed for different public safety sectors and does so with convenience, as well as safety, in mind. With the number of duty-belt items going up, it can be good to know that efforts are under way to make the footprint of those options go down.
“Duty belts have become so cumbersome and heavy,” said Garett Dickinson, Chinook’s product development coordinator. “Our modules are as light as possible, but still help officers carry a medical kit. If you have to keep the kit in the car because it is too big or heavy to carry around, it kind of negates its value. So we want to make it as lightweight as we can.”
In particular, two Chinook modules—the LEMK-CTP (Covert Trauma Pouch) and the LEMK-OR (Officer Response) Kit—are about half the size of a standard kit, Dickinson said, and as a result are small enough to be comfortably worn on a duty belt, in a cargo or vest pocket, or under plain clothes. “It fits in the coat pocket,” Dickinson said. “You can insert [it] behind the ballistics plate or fit [it] in a cargo pocket. But you want to have medical supplies on your person.”
Prices on all Chinook modules range from $36.95 for a kit containing supplies to treat hemorrhaging to several hundred dollars for kits treating a wider range of conditions. But what Dickinson pointed to as a distinguishing factor is the service Chinook provides. Though Chinook kits can be ordered pre-filled or as empty cases, the company also fills customized kit orders, which can make purchasing easier for law enforcement agencies on multiple levels. “Not every department trains with the same tourniquet, for example,” Dickinson said. “We can assemble the kits based on specs from departments. If they don’t have the budget to train officers on something new or buy something new, we can help them keep the kits consistent.”
Sales experts with Chinook also can help customers navigate the often-intricate process of finding and seeking financial assistance from government sources. Though these sources are numerous, programs and protocols often change and can be confusing to the uninitiated.
“We work with people every step of the way to provide them with the best trauma equipment they can carry,” Dickinson said. “We know the [U.S.] federal grants program and stay up to date on all the funding options. It can be such a maze of paperwork and acronyms that the process itself can be prohibitive on its own. So we do try to help people understand that better.”