A rugged, specially designed pack, filled with medical supplies aimed at helping deputies respond to the everyday calls and treating of traumatic events is something that the Stark County Sheriff's Office has sought to standardize in every patrol and transport vehicle belonging to the department. Following a generous donation, Sheriff Corey Lee said the first major step toward doing so has becoming a reality.

The sheriff’s office received a check for $5,760 on Thursday, donated by Plains All American Pipeline courtesy of their managing director, Patrick D. Hodgins.

Lt. Eldon Mehrer accepted the funds on behalf of the department, along with Corporal Eldridge and Deputy Aaron. Shortly after the department issued a "Thank You" on social media.

“Plains All American strive to be a good neighbor through our First Responder Grant Program. This monetary grant award effort supports training and equipment needs of local fire and police as well as other responders,” the statement said. "We are thankful to Plains All American Pipeline for there generous grant award...Thank you for supporting us and our communities."

The Sheriff's Office recognized the importance of working toward the goal when Lee assumed office January 2019.

In certain situations, the sheriff's office responds to incidents in rural Stark County and on occasion before other first responders can arrive. Lee said he has enjoyed his department being able to work closely with the ambulance service, fire and other agencies, and believes that standardizing gear will only improve his deputies ability to use their training to the highest potential.

Changes to departmental medical planning and on-scene response prompted the department to formalize and standardize emergency medical bags across their entire fleet, allowing every deputy to be familiar with the medical supplies available regardless of patrol vehicle they were in.

"The importance of standardized medical bags in each of our patrol cars is no different than any other pieces of our equipment. We carry all the same firearms, we have all the same computers and control units in each of our squad cars for a reason," Lee said. "When officers are trained to respond in one type of vehicle and they operate that vehicle continually on a daily basis it becomes second nature to them, and in high stress situations you have to fall back on your training. The medical bags are really no different."

Lee continued, "We want to make sure that we know what's in there, we know what we have and we can rely on that. We typically don't share vehicles at the sheriff's office so we know what we have used and then replace it immediately and in the case we jump in someone else's rig, we will have the same standardized equipment and should be able to rely on that being there.