Malden officers’ tourniquet training credited with helping save gunshot victim

MALDEN, Mass. — It’s a piece of gear that’s unassuming, but the Malden Police Department says Boston doctors credited their officers’ use of tourniquets with saving a woman’s life.

Officers Kenny Watkins and Richard Doherty were on patrol Thursday night when they were the first to respond to a shooting. They found a man and woman nearby, in a Walgreens parking lot on Centre Street. The officers say the woman had a critical wound to her leg, and that’s when their training took over.

Watkins and Doherty each carry two tourniquets with them. They started receiving tourniquet training several years ago to have the ability to attend to themselves or fellow officers who may be injured in the line of duty. But in this instance, the officers used their tourniquets to help the injured woman right in the store parking lot before the ambulance even arrived. Both say it was their first time ever needing to put those skills to use, and they remained calm as their training took over.

The Malden Police Department says the importance of tourniquet training became clear in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Watkins and Doherty are part of the department’s Special Operations Unit, and receive 16 hours of training each month which includes tourniquet use.

The Malden Police Department says the entire force watches training videos and tourniquet training is offered in a number of local police departments. In Malden, not all officers choose to carry tourniquets, but officers Watkins and Doherty say they purchased extra tourniquets on their own in case they ever needed them. They said tourniquet training isn’t only useful in tactical situations, but for a range of situations from skating mishaps to construction accidents.

Malden Police say the shooting is still under investigation. No arrests have been made.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch Boston 25 News NOW