The Dummy That Saved Your Life
“Hi. This is Aaron Negherbon, the Founder and Executive Director of Cops Direct. You know, we’ve actually doubled the amount of podcasts that we’ve put out by doing now number two, so we’ve just started this whole podcast thing. Like everyone tells you to do I suppose I’m supposed to say to Like, and Subscribe, and Follow, and Click and Share. I mean, yeah, please do. Because I think the stuff that we’re putting out is relevant, you may agree with it, you may not. But one thing about me that anybody will tell you is that I say what I think. At the same time, I say what a lot of people are afraid to think.
The second podcast was a myriad of things that I could talk about, and I want to go back to the Sandy Hook, and the Aurora, and the Columbine massacres that happened, and a lot of them around that have happened since then. Unfortunately, I think as a society we’ve become numb to them. Frankly, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t. When we see it on the TV, or on a web page, and we hear about something that happened, nowadays we kind of almost shrug our shoulders. It sucks that that’s happened. We’ve become numb to it.
But one thing that Cops Direct focuses on is giving our law enforcement officers the equipment and the training to save a life when a bad thing happens, whether it’s a shooting, whether it’s a traffic accident, whatever it could be, before paramedics or other qualified aid renderers, doctors, are available to treat a patient. It’s in that time where people die. If it wasn’t for that cop, that sheriff’s deputy, that police officer, with the training and the equipment, that person who was wounded would die more times than not, or lose a limb. Since 2016, we have helped departments in over 30 states, and we got 20 more to go. But man are we growing. And the nice thing about us is, we don’t need to advertise to police departments because the word gets out about what we do so quickly.
I’m proud of the fact that we are an organization of our word. When we say we’re going to do something, we do it. About six months ago, we got a phone call from the Denver area, from the regional training center, if you will, that handles over 90 police departments for all the Denver, Colorado metro area. What they were in need of was something that we had never supplied before. But it truly for me was life changing. I’ve seen a lot of stuff in my life. I’ve seen blood. I’ve seen death. I’ve seen lives born and lives lost. What they asked us for was a training mannequin above and beyond anything that I had ever seen, and certainly anything that you have probably ever seen. Literally it’s called a mannequin, M-A-N-I-K-IN. I’m probably spelling it wrong. Forgive me.
But what this thing is, is it is literally a human being, but robotic. If you looked at it from afar, you would say, “That’s a six-foot tall, 180-pound man, laying there on the floor bleeding out.” That’s how realistic it was. We provided one of these training mannequins to the Denver area so that all of the law enforcement officers, or those assigned to train other officers, were able to work on a piece of equipment that lived, died, breathed, and bled like a actual human being. What this mannequin is going to be able to do is literally provide training that would help over a million individuals and more in the greater Denver area through the training that these 90 agencies are going to receive.
I’ll tell you, when I walked into the training center over at the Thornton Colorado Police Department, I saw it there laying on the floor, and it was almost eerie because it was so real. But as I got closer, I saw that now our police officers, and paramedics to that end also, have the ability to work on something that they’ve never been able to work on before that will certainly save lives. When I looked at this thing, I saw children being saved. I saw men and women being saved. Law enforcement officers, civilians, every kind of living human being, will be saved because of the training that this mannequin is going to provide.
I’m going to tell you the backstory on these things as well, which was just absolutely fascinating. But as I got into the room and looked at it, and they turned it on, and they can program different scenarios, it enables a law enforcement officer to train immediately on how to apply a tourniquet to a wound in the leg or in the arm, and it will actually stop the bleeding. If it’s not applied properly, the bleeding will continue and the patient can pass away. There are wounds that are up in the pelvic area where you can actually feel through the skin shattered bone. That might sound gory to the uninitiated, but it’s the reality and the horrors of a traumatic injury, primarily a wound from a firearm.
You’re able to actually put your hand inside of that wound to stop the bleeding like someone would really have to do in a life and death situation. It has the ability to perform CPR. It has the ability to intubate it, which means literally putting a tube down the airway through the throat from the nose or the mouth so that somebody can continue breathing. What I saw was truly just mind-blowing. The chest breathes. You can simulate a collapsed lung, which are all serious things. And this mannequin, I’m so excited because unfortunately it costs $70,000. Yeah, $70,000, and it was all funds that came from our donor base. But it was frustrating because you see what this can do. You saw the officers’ eyes light up.
Senior officers who have gone through every type of medical training ever that’s available, and they saw this and go, “Wow. This is a game changer.” I can’t tell you how many officers came up to me and shook my hand and said, “Hey. Thank you so much for this. This is going to save lives.” Again, this is an area where we saw the Aurora shootings, the Columbine shootings, and a lot of other just day-to-day stuff that happens through Denver and the outlying areas. I was out there with my sidekick, our Development Director here at Cops Direct, Jake White, but I was also there with the Chairman of Tactical Medical Solutions, Ross Johnson, who owns the company that puts out these mannequins, as well as his partner, Dan Stout, who does all of the sales for TacMed, especially as it pertains to what we at Cops Direct provide.
Dan was a longtime police officer based in Florida. And Ross Johnson, his story actually goes back to his days as a Green Beret medic and his deployments overseas. The partnership that we have really has enabled us to provide for agencies like we’ve never been able to before. The shameless plug, I guess I’ll give it right now is, if you go over to Tactical Medical Solutions, you’ll see what they have. This is nothing that you can buy in any local CVS, or Target, or Walmart, as it pertains to first aid kits. This stuff is custom built. It is used by nations around the globe and their militaries. It’s used by law enforcement officers around here. I carry a TacMed kit in my truck. And while it might seem hyper-crazy to have all this specialized stuff, the ability to implement it and the ease to which you can implement some of these things with just a little bit of training, can save a life.
You know, we don’t walk out the door as a civilian or as a cop and say, “Today at 11:30 AM this is going to happen and you need to be prepared.” Nobody knows that. Again, and that’s why this training mannequin is so critical. The great story about these mannequins, and again, to see it is to understand its significance, is the genesis of these actually came from the robotics that were used in Lucas films if you go back to the early Star Wars and things like this. And before Pixar, and green screens, and CGI, you literally had on a stage, on a set, robots that acted like human beings or whatever they were supposed to. Very much like going to Disneyland I suppose. As the Pixar, and the computers, and all that took over, Lucasfilm still had this technology.
I’m paraphrasing, but TacMed stepped in and said, “Hey. We’d like to take over your company in an effort to create live training simulators like no one’s ever seen before so that we can train more effectively the medics, the corpsmen, the doctors, and the like, through the civilian and military populations.” That’s really kind of the birth of these products. I was truly blown away. A little backstory is, the first time I saw one of these … There’s an event in Las Vegas every year and it’s called the SHOT Show, S-H-O-T. What it is, it’s kind of the trade show for everything tactical, hunting, shooting related things. Over 70,000 people attend. It’s ridiculously huge. You can’t see everything over the course of a week.
But TacMed was there, and Dan Stout was there, who I mentioned a few minutes ago. They had a dog laying there, and I swear to God I thought it was an actual dog. It was one of these training mannequins from TacMed. What’s funny is, the hair used on this training dog is in fact the same hair used on Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies. It was kind of funny. You know, pet this dog and feel it. But the dog breathes. The dog can emote sounds of pain or whatever. Eyes dilate. All these things. Very similar to the one that we provided to Denver. But it’s phenomenal this next level of technology that is out there. This isn’t the rubber training dummies that we used, we called them Annies back in the day, that we learned CPR on at the YMCA. Any more real and it would be an actual dog or an actual human being.
But I guess the point that I’m trying to get to here, there is a point, is that … And I’m not trying to sell Cops Direct, although perhaps I am, I won’t lie, is that what we are able to do for our law enforcement agencies is unlike what anybody else can do. We didn’t provide this to Denver because they had the funds and just didn’t want to spend them. They had the need, but they had an issue with funding and everything that comes with that. Perhaps bureaucracies, perhaps politics, perhaps budget certainly.
But Cops Direct as a nonprofit organization was able to step in and say, “We got it.” Certainly it took a few months for this thing to actually be built because it’s not like you walk into a sporting goods store or something like that and grab a tube of tennis balls off the shelf. I mean these things are custom built. Why I said tennis balls as opposed to any other thing in the world I don’t know. But what we’re going to want to do though coming out of this is really work hard to identify regions around the nation similar to that of Denver where one of these can be used for several agencies. A force multiplier, if you will.
I mean imagine if we put one of these into Florida as an example. Could it be used from Miami all the way up through Fort Lauderdale and down through the Keys as one mobile training unit? Absolutely. Are we working on that? You better believe it. Same with Nashville. What about Seattle? What about the greater Chicagoland area? I’m so passionate about it now because I’ve seen what this thing can do. When I walked into the presentation in Denver last week, I said, “Okay. Cool,” and then I left I don’t want to say a changed man, but if you go over and look on our website you’ll see some of the photos. Just truly phenomenal.
One thing I don’t like is having big long monologues of me talking. If you enjoy hearing me and you’re still here at the 13-minute mark, well, thank you. But I am going to wrap this podcast up. Again, the purpose of this was to let you know that this technology exists. The purpose of this was to let you know that Cops Direct is effecting the delivery of these two regions in need. The other fact is that lives will be saved. There will be men, women, moms, dads, husbands, wives, children, and the like, that will survive and live when bad things happen because of the training that this will provide to officers.
Again, I’m going to wrap it up now. But again, feel free to contact us at copsdirect.org. You can contact me, you can contact Jake. We have other people on the team, but those are the two main go-to’s. So swing by copsdirect.org and feel free to hit us up. We’re here all the time. And if you have an agency in need that you know of, please have them go to the website and contact us as well. God bless our police officers, God bless America, and God bless all the people that our law enforcement officers are sworn to protect every day. We’ll talk to you soon.”