Rock County deputy uses tourniquet in chainsaw accident

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Frank Schultz
Friday, June 16, 2017

TOWN OF ROCK—The Rock County sheriff's deputies went through refresher training this spring on how to use a tourniquet. Sgt. Ken Marquardt got the rare opportunity to use one this week.

Marquardt and Janesville paramedics were called to an Edgewater Drive address in the town of Rock on Wednesday for a report of a man who cut himself with a chainsaw.

Marquardt was nearby, so he arrived first.

“You hear 'chainsaw,' and all you think is, 'bad,'” said Marquardt, who retrieved his tourniquet from the trunk of his squad immediately. He prepared himself for the worst, but it was not as bad as he imagined, he said.

Marquardt found a tree-service worker who had cut about halfway through his forearm with a chainsaw.

Marquardt said two men were cutting pine trees, and the victim was 8 to 10 feet off the ground trimming limbs in a lift bucket when the accident occurred.

The man's co-worker didn't immediately realize what had happened, Marquardt said.

The man managed to get down and walk to a pickup truck, where he collapsed on the ground, where Marquardt found him.

Marquardt estimated the man lost two to three quarts, perhaps a third of all his blood.

“When I got there, he was full of blood and conscious and seemed coherent and able to slide the tourniquet up his arm and get the blood to slow until the paramedics got there,” Marquardt said Friday.“The paramedics did a great job.

“It worked. It definitely slowed the bleeding,” Marquardt said.

“He was a tough guy, I have to say. He impressed me. He was in pain, but he walked (a few steps) to the gurney,” Marquardt said.

“He was a very experienced chainsaw guy, so it could happen to anybody, really,” Marquardt said.

Marquardt said he heard doctors saved the man's arm, and he was expected to recover.

Rock County sheriff's deputies have carried tourniquets for some years, said Sgt. Troy Egger, but recent training from the Mercyhealth EMS program reinforced their use, Egger said.

Every deputy carries one, some on their belts, and they're taught to use them on themselves and others, Egger said.

Marquardt downplayed his actions but said he is happy to be the poster child for the benefits of training and equipment.

“I'm nobody special. I just showed up and did what they trained me for, and it worked out,” he added.

“Any one of my deputies I think would do the same. Any officer would have done the same,” he said.

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