LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- When there's a shooting or a serious car crash, Metro Police are better prepared to save lives. More than 1,200 LMPD officers are now carrying medical trauma kits. 

"We're up to about four saves right now, with the kits, within a month that we've used them on members of the community," says Officer Kenneth Betts, LMPD Health & Safety Officer. "The medical trauma kits are pretty much for mass trauma."

Betts says the new trauma kits have helped officers save lives. "What we have seen lately, there's a lot of shootings happening."

Last month, police used the kits when responding to a triple shooting near 17th and Magazine Streets.

"The officers got on scene very quickly, were on scene within a minute and they were able to triage three different patients and one of the victims of the shooting had a wound to the chest area," says Betts.

Police say the kits are loaded with several lifesaving tools, and they've now put them in the hands of all of LMPD officers.

"One of the major components of the kit is the soft tourniquet," Betts says. "And this tourniquet is really just like a belt. What would happen, or whoever would be using the tourniquet, would slide it up the leg, above the wound.  We recommend six inches above the wound and then actually to tighten the tourniquet up."

When we asked Betts why this responsibility is being put on officers, instead of waiting for EMS, he said stopping blood loss could help save lives. 

"The major thing is blood loss," Betts says. "If we can stop that bleeding it will help more than anything."

And police tell us the trauma kits are now a permanent feature of the Metro Police Department. And the kits won't cost taxpayers one dime; it is all paid for with drug seizure money.

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