Home » News » Public Safety
A year after Manchester police shooting, a life-saving tourniquet is standard issue in cruisers
Manchester police officer Dan Doherty walks through a gauntlet of officers Jan. 14 after a judge sentenced Myles Webster to 60 years in jail for attempted murder. Doherty is back at work. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
But without the tourniquet a fellow officer applied to Doherty's leg at the scene of the shooting, Doherty may well have bled to death. As a result, all Manchester police officers have been trained to apply a tourniquet and render other emergency aid. The response didn't stop there.
"We took it one step further," said Sgt. Mark Sanclemente, department training officer.
Thanks to a grant, the department now has a first aid/trauma kit in every cruiser.
The man who tried to kill Doherty, 26, now sits in the New Hampshire State Prison, serving a sentence of 60 years to life on his convictions for attempted murder, reckless conduct and robbery. Webster, 23, who was only six months out of a federal prison at the time of the shooting, has appealed his convictions to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
At Webster's trial in December, a doctor testified in Hillsborough County Superior Court North that the tourniquet put on Doherty's left leg was a key element in his survival.
Police Chief David Mara was so impressed that he ordered every Manchester police officer to be trained to properly place a tourniquet and perform other medical assistance.
First on the scene
Sanclemente said officers Brandon Murphy and Tom Gonzales were the first backup officers to arrive at the shooting scene last March 21. The two had issued the alert about a man who appeared to have a weapon tucked in his pants in the area of RiteAid at McGregor Square.
"They were the first with Dan," said Sanclemente.
Murphy, who along with Gonzales is a member of SWAT, had undergone medical training two months before. He immediately assessed the situation and put a tourniquet on Doherty's left leg.
After many surgeries, intensive therapy and with a titanium rod in his left leg, Doherty was able to return to work the first week of February, surprising many fellow officers when he appeared without notice at roll call.
Doctors credited Doherty's survival to his youth, physical condition, the EMTs who sped him from the shooting scene at Wayne and Rimmon streets to nearby Catholic Medical Center, the doctors who operated - and the tourniquet.
There are two medics assigned to SWAT, which is not a full-time job, but now everyone is trained on first aid, including tourniquet application, Sanclemente said.
"To apply to yourself or a teammate," he said.
A dangerous job
Mara said the shooting didn't prompt changes in training because Doherty did everything right, including calling for backup when he spotted Webster, who fled when initially confronted and turned and fired as Doherty closed in on him.
Manchester uses one-person cruisers. If two officers are needed for an incident at a specific address, it's easy to coordinate the arrival, said Mara.
But often it is a search without a definite address.
"If we do find them," he said, the officer calls for backup. "You have to think quick," he said.
"Dan's actions and the actions of other police officers that night show the importance of training." Mara added: "We will continue to train."
Sanclemente said: "We try to prepare for anything."
That's why the department participated in an "active shooter exercise" at Parkside Middle School Feb. 18, when children were on holiday for Washington's Birthday. Police worked with the fire department and paramedics in the mass shooting exercise.
The Manchester Police Department has scheduled an entry level police officer examination May 18 at Memorial High School, with an application deadline of May 8.
Asked if the Doherty shooting is likely to have an effect on applications, Sanclemente, stressing that he was speaking only for himself, said he does not believe it will.
"It's just a dangerous job that we do," he said. "People know what it entails."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Clarksville man accidentally shoots himself - 0
- KSC graduate in town says he aided a wounded party-goer - 0
- Weare shakes its head at police department saga - 3
- Keene State College students clean up after mayhem, say weekend riots were not their fault - 10
- Londonderry man killed in I-495 off-ramp crash identified - 0
- American Ambulance Service gets accreditation from industry group - 0
- Canaan man dies after vehicle falls on him - 1
- Police say party near Keene State got out of control, became 'mass casualty incident' - 19
- KSC president 'saddened and disheartened' at Pumpkin Festival mayhem - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Husband of Salem babysitter sentenced to additional time in second sex abuse case - 0
- Keene police working to identify rioters, notify other colleges of students’ participation - 0
- Man arrested as police investigate shots fired in Manchester - 0
- Alibaba Market robbed; scratch tickets taken from Crosstown Variety on Manchester's West Side - 0
- Hearing postponed for fire official facing harrassment charges in Londonderry - 0
- Nashua man accused of choking woman - 0
- High School Football Power Poll: Some shufflling below the top four - 0
- Nigeria declared Ebola-free by WHO after containing virus - 3
- UNH women's hockey coach hired to restore winning ways - 0
Keene State College students clean up after mayhem, say weekend riots were not their fault
Keene Pumpkin Festival has uncertain future
Monitoring social media
On Obamacare: Shaheen doesn't get it
On Obamacare: Shaheen doesn't get it
What rising tide? Kuster vs. Kennedy
Keene police working to identify rioters, notify other colleges of students' participation
A series of sharp exchanges at 2nd CD debate
20141020-Concord Monitor: Taxpayers can afford $15K to $20K a year per homeless person for housing