In 2017 the foundation along with the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Oshtemo Fire Rescue, Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority, and Homeland Defense 5th District Medical Response Coalition created the Tourniquet On Person (TOP) program.  

The goal of TOP is to save lives.  Most first responders (Police, Fire, and EMS) have already been provided tourniquets that are stored in a variety of locations including gear bags, first aid kits, vehicles and uniforms. The TOP program will provide free tourniquets, training and holsters so the tourniquet can be carried on the belt of the first responder.  Having the tourniquet immediately available will reduce the precious time required to locate and apply a tourniquet.  To achieve this goal the program will be divided into three elements: Application, Training, and Reporting.

To date the TOP program has spent about $20,000 on tourniquet holsters and given those holsters to first responders in southwest Michigan
Oshtemo Fire Rescue has trained 57 tourniquet trainers who have returned to their respective departments to train their members.
Equipped 1,079 first responders with belt tourniquet holsters.gloss

Application for the TOP program:  

Agencies must complete the application form and verify the following points:

  • The uniform policy of the agency will allow the wearing of the tourniquet holster.
  • The agency will mandate the tourniquet and holster to be worn as part of the duty belt.
  • Agency’s will maintain accountability of the holster during their existing inspection process.
  • The agency will replace broken or damaged holsters and equip new responders with holsters.
  • Have in place a process to re-equip responders with new tourniquets that have been used, lost, or damaged.  
  • Require responders to report tourniquet use to the Western Michigan University School of Medicine.
  • Require annual training and familiarization of tourniquet use and have personnel on staff to conduct tourniquet training.
  • Click here to apply: https://goo.gl/forms/JIOeo1dsHIfeEKOU2

Individual officers must complete the application for and verify the following points:

  • The uniform policy of their agency will allow the wearing of the tourniquet holster.
  • The responder pledges to wear the tourniquet holster.
  • The responder will replace a broken, lost, or damaged holster.
  • The responder will report tourniquet use to the Western Michigan University School of Medicine.
  • The responder will annually train and familiarize themselves with tourniquet use.
  • The responder will strongly consider becoming a tourniquet trainer and provide training inside and outside of their department when requested and approved by their command staff.
  • Click here to apply:  https://goo.gl/forms/vx7vHly3tsLwcCOD2
  • After the application is received and approved, arrangements will be made to have the equipment purchased and training scheduled.  Equipment will be issued to the agency’s qualified trainer to be distributed to each responder upon completion of the training event.

Application will be received and reviewed by the Eric Zapata Memorial Foundation and will be approved based on available funding and resources.

Training for the TOP program:

The Oshtemo Fire and Rescue Department will schedule and host two hour train the trainer events as part of an on-going training initiative.  This train the trainer event will include classroom and practical application under simulated real word conditions.  

It is the responsibility of the agency to conduct refresher training incorporated into an existing annual training situation such as firearms qualifications, subject control, CPR, or part of an annual inspection event.  All agencies should have tourniquet trainers on staff.

Click here to become a tourniquet trainer:  https://goo.gl/forms/0S2RJ1tMcShQBBwh2


The Western Michigan University School of Medicine will develop a reporting process to track the demographics of each tourniquet field application and to evaluate effectiveness of the TOP program.