SAN DIEGO - Last October, a high-speed pursuit wound through the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego. ABLE, the police helicopter, tracked the driver until he dumped the car and ran into a drainage pipe under Interstate 15.
San Diego police Officer Tim Bell scrambled after him into the corrugated pipe and was shot four times. Luckily, other officers were right behind, equipped with tourniquets and bandages.
Sgt. Adam Sharki was one of them.
"He was bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds, injured severely. The officers were properly equipped and had this to use, definitely bought extra time to get Tim to the hospital," Sharki said.
Trauma kits are just one of the extras provided to officers, compliments of the San Diego Police Foundation.
The group held its 14th annual Friends of the Badge luncheon on Wednesday. It raised money to buy perhaps hundreds of the trauma kits, similar to those used in combat, at $65 each.
Another goal is to raise funds for six additional K-9 police dogs. They are $12,000 each.
There was a standing ovation for Bell, a living testament to the value of those trauma kits.
"I'm standing here today, thanks to your support through the police foundation and for the trauma kit you placed in my partner's hands," he said.
San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman also voiced appreciation for the money raised for unbudgeted needs.
"By another officer having a trauma kit, it helped save his life," she said. "It is critically important for officers when we respond (to incidents) and in case we need to deploy that for a citizen."