We give a thumbs up to Henderson and OMNA for helping tourniquets become more widely available, especially to people who may be more at risk for blood-loss injuries. Educating youths about EMS is critical for the industry, but let’s admit it–it can be a daunting task that’s easier said than done. However, one EMT-turned-author is doing just that thanks to a bit of good storytelling. OMNA Inc., based out of St. Petersburg, Fla., has created two unique patent-pending products for aquatic adventurers: an amphibious tourniquet and a surf leash tourniquet. Michael Morse is the author of a handful of EMS-related books, including Rescuing Providence, which, in a-day-in-the-life style, details the heroic, yet typical, shift of an EMT. Morse is a 23-year veteran firefighter and EMT, and in his books he shares both the heartbreaking and joyful stories of his career. It’s this honest, direct explanation of the job that’s not only appealing to kids, but also educational. Morse has penned two other books following the success of Rescuing Providence, giving young students the chance to learn more about a potential future career for them. SURFBOARD TOURNIQUET The inspiration for the products came to Henderson during a surfing trip in which he and his friends had to paddle across shark- and crocodileinfested waters at night. In the middle of the group’s perilous paddle, he realized that if one of them got bit, there would be no way to stop the bleeding, which could quickly turn deadly. The tourniquet leash is the world’s only surfboard leash that’s also a tourniquet. It can be rapidly deployed by a surfer to save a life or limb. Photo courtesy OMNA Inc. Thankfully no one was hurt that night, but it got the wheels turning in Henderson’s head. CONNECTING WITH STUDENTS We give a thumbs up to Rhode Island educators for recognizing the importance in teaching high schoolers about the world of emergency services, especially through the words of a local author. We also of course give Morse a thumbs up for putting his experiences on paper to educate others about what it’s really like to be an EMT. “The military and my EMT training taught me the about the importance of first aid,” Henderson said. “Having a tourniquet on hand is just a smart move. It’s simple to use and can stop bleeding very well.” After plenty of research and testing, these two tourniquets are finally on the market and can be purchased at omnainc.com. OMNA’s mission is to increase water safety, and with these two smart, useful products, it’s well on its way to doing just that. After its release in 2007, the book made its way into many Rhode Island (Morse’s home state) libraries. This led to one man finding the book, loving it and sharing it with his wife, a librarian at a local high school. As lifesaving tourniquets finally start to make their way into the hands of all levels of first responders–from paramedics to law enforcement officers–and civilians, one company is going the extra mile in taking them from ambulances to surfboards. The story grabbed her attention so much that plans are currently in the works to make Rescuing Providence part of the school’s summer reading program, thus getting it in the hands of many high school students in Rhode Island. Rescuing Providence will be read and analyzed alongside classic novels such as The Red Badge of Courage and The Hobbit. OMNA founder Carson Henderson says the amphibious tourniquet is specifically designed to be worn and easily deployed by divers, swimmers, hikers, boaters and other people engaged in outdoor activities–basically any activity that isn’t surfing. As for the surfboard leash tourniquet, “It helps surfers address injuries from sharks, reefs, rocks, saltwater crocs, other surfers and hidden objects that can be floating in the water,” Henderson said. Be sure to check out Michael Morse’s blog at www.rescuingprovidence.com.