CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - On Tuesday, paramedics gathered at MetroHealth to honor some of their own.
MetroHealth's annual EMS Awards honor first responders who have reacted quickly to save others' lives.
One of those first responders is Ranger Michael Kort, of the Cleveland Metroparks.
Last December, Kort arrived at a shooting in the Metroparks, where Angela Altier was bleeding badly from a leg wound.
A major artery was severed. Altier had been shot by a man in a vehicle while running in the park with a group of friends, who immediately called 911.
"I'm not sure which shot that hit me, but there was a shot that hit me directly in the leg," she said.
Kort had just finished training on tourniquets about two weeks before.
While not all rangers at the time were trained on the technique, Kort had taken the initiative to buy his own tourniquet, one he kept in his vehicle.
He used that tourniquet to stop Altier's bleeding.
"He was able to apply that to the leg, which definitely saved my leg and saved my life," said Altier.
"I had no way of knowing that this was going to be so, so soon after having received this training," said Kort. "Several officers go through their entire career never having to use training like this."
He's glad he had the training he needed, though, and since then, the Metroparks has trained many more rangers on the use of tourniquets. They're now carried in every vehicle.
MetroHealth EMS Coordinator David Sirl says the more people who learn how to use tourniquets, the more lives they can save. He teaches courses with first responders across the area, and he says there's about a three-minute window to get a tourniquet on, in a serious situation like a gunshot wound.
Now, he says, he can apply one in about 15-20 seconds. He says you can do that, too. It just takes practice--and a good tourniquet.
You can find out more about how to use a tourniquet and supplies for purchase at the Department of Homeland Security's 'Stop the Bleed' project. Information is online at here.