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Chicago Police Foundation Paying For New Cops' Emergency First Aid Kits

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago police officer was able to save his own life with a special medical kit--he had to purchase himself--and rescue training--provided by the Chicago Police Department-- that he took on his own time.

Officer Dallas Burright tells CBS2's Suzanne Le Mignot, the Chicago Police Department's Law Enforcement Medical and Rescue Training, commonly known as LEMART, teaches combat care and uses the items in a first aid kit--like a tourniquet--to save lives in case of an emergency.

But a local police foundation is trying to make the emergency kits available to new police academy graduates, free of charge.

LEMART takes officers through a series of scenarios and teaches them emergency first aid. In one, an officer is down. In another, it's a barricade situation. Another, it's an active shooter situation. But before them all, trainers get officers' hearts rates up with jumping jacks, to feel the affect of stress.

And in the very real scenario of someone taking a bullet wound to the leg, for instance, while one officer guards the door, another applies a tourniquet to the wounded officer.

Tourniquets alone have saved three lives in Chicago during the past few weeks; among them, a Chicago police officer. He used a tourniquet to save his own life after he was shot in the leg. Officer Kevin Keel, who just completed LEMART training, was at the scene where an officer had one of the special kits.

"It's eye opening. It's very...we're thankful that he had it. I did not have one," Keel said.

Each kit costs $100. Officers have to buy their own, but the Chicago Police Foundation, is working to change that.

"We couldn't believe the officers were spending their own money to buy these kits," said Mary Ann Rose, executive director of the Chicago Police Foundation. According to Bob Loquercio, a board member, the foundation's initial commitment has been 2,000 kits, "and we'll be handing those out as graduates come out of the academy. So every new graduate will get the training and the kit," if the receive the LEMART training.

The foundation's goal is to raise $500,000 during the next 12 months so every Chicago police officer can be given his or her own lifesaving kit.

For information on how you can help, visit the Chicago Police Foundation's website and click "Donate Now" at the top of the page.

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