When Columbus police officers descended on a South Side shooting scene last November, they found a young man in the street, bleeding from bullets in his chest and right arm.

When Columbus police officers descended on a South Side shooting scene last November, they found a young man in the street, bleeding from bullets in his chest and right arm.

Instead of waiting for Columbus Division of Fire paramedics, Officers Anthony Sebastiano, Chad Caudill and Matthew Gasaway applied a tourniquet to the victim's arm and a specialized "seal" bandage to his chest.

Nineteen-year-old Reggie Thorpe went to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in critical condition and survived.

It is an example of how Columbus police officers are now using first-aid techniques that American troops learned on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's positive news out of a bad situation," said Sgt. Michael Kirk, who supervises advanced training for Columbus police officers.

Last fall, almost all of the officers and some other employees with the Columbus Division of Police went through a tactical first-aid training program to learn how to use tourniquets and apply bandages. Kirk said that police officers are trying, as first responders, to stop the bleeding until paramedics arrive and take over.

"If they can get them to Grant (Medical Center) in 10 to 15 minutes, they can do amazing things," said Sgt. Mike Cormican, who supervises the patrol officers on the South Side who helped save Thorpe's life.

Thorpe's shooting at Ann Street and E. Morrill Avenue on Nov. 16 was the first time that officers applied the new training on the street. The new techniques came about after some police officers who have served overseas in the military recognized that Columbus police officers could adopt some first-aid tactics that they had learned for the battlefield, Kirk said.

One of those officers was homicide detective Chad Williams, who has served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He proposed the tactical first-aid program a few years ago. Williams said he knows there are other cities that are trying to make similar improvements.

"Through deployments and being street officers, there are some applications that can cross over," he said. "It's a nice thing when you have a mixed experience."

One of the biggest changes in first-aid strategy is the use of tourniquets.

It once was thought that using tourniquets could be harmful because they cut off circulation. But during recent wars, it was learned that tourniquets, when properly applied, can stay in place for hours and save limbs.

The next step for Columbus police is to have all the cruisers equipped with a pack that would contain tourniquets and the specialized bandages. Kirk said some of the officers already have their own kits; others carry tourniquets on their belts.

SWAT officers had the equipment handy on

Nov. 22 when they were in a standoff on Morse Road on the Northeast Side.

Danny Thornton had fatally shot 9-year-old Jaiden Dixon at a Grove City house, then had shot his ex-girlfriend at a S. Hamilton Road dentist's office. He was cornered in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

During the standoff, there was an exchange of gunfire, and SWAT Officer Steve Smith was struck.

His fellow officers immediately tended to his wound, applying a plastic seal bandage to his abdomen. The officers determined that they didn't need a clotting bandage, which includes medication that can burn the skin around a wound and take longer to heal.

Mifflin Township Fire Battalion Chief Jeff C. Wright, who drove up to the scene moments after Smith was shot, said, "The officers that had started treatment did an excellent trauma assessment.

"I was very impressed with the professionalism and the skills that these officers used to treat their own, not only during a highly stressful situation but one that could have had very serious consequences for the officer involved," Wright said.