By Delicia Ivins
UPDATE: Somerton, AZ – August 10, 2019, Somerton Police were called out to investigate three drive-by shootings that injured one person that evening. According to the report, multiple vehicles and one residence was were hit within the same hour.
Thankfully, not even a month before, Somerton PD had received a donation a of 15 medical bags, which included trauma supplies, for events just like these.
According to Neighborhood Scout, a person would have a 1 in 848 chance of being a victim of violent crime (compared to a 1 in 197 chance of being a victim of violent crime in the state of Arizona).
But violent crimes still happen – even in small towns.
While Somerton’s fire department also serves as EMS to the small community, police are often the first on the scene for emergency situations.
The nearest hospital is located in Yuma, 20 minutes away.
Police cars were previously ill-equipped to handle emergency situations as first responders.
Michael Garcia, a Saugus CA businessman, saw the need.
Garcia assisted in procuring additional sponsorship for Back The Badge USA, a Ventura County, California based non-profit, to get “combat ready” trauma-grade medical bags in the hands of Somerton Police to help aid and care for the Somerton community.
Garcia explained, “It was my honor to support the Ventura County based non-profit organization Back the Badge USA. Their dedication to law enforcement and the donation of quality medical kits to the Somerton police department is a great example of community helping those who protect us. I am grateful to support all organizations that support our law enforcement officers!”
On July 19, Back The Badge donated 15 medical bags to Somerton Police Department be better prepared to respond to Somerton community emergencies. The medical bags retail for around $250 per bag.
Each medical bag contains basic medical care, as well as special trauma kit additions – like blood stopper bandages, CAT Tourniquets and Oropharyngeal Airways – devices used to keep the airway open in unconscious people facilitating ventilation during CPR.
In a video, Gilbert Hernandez, an area resident, said, “This bag right here shows you the essentials that a police officer would need in case of an accident or some type of injury. So, this little bag contains enough to save a person’s life and bring them home to their family.”
When asked why a California-based non-profit drove the 5 ½ hours from Ventura County California to Arizona, Darrin Parrent of Back the Badge USA replied, “”Wherever in the U.S. there is a need, we’ll be there. The need was in Somerton so that’s where we went.”
The website for Back the Badge USA is www.backthebadgeUSA.com.