Bleeding kits available on Cape Cod beaches in case of shark attack

Attacks rare but there are plenty of sharks nearby

By Jay Croft and Amanda Watts, CNN
Courtesy of Dr. Beach

(CNN) - Holiday beachgoers in one Cape Cod town have a new emergency ally should the unthinkable happen: a "stop the bleed" first-aid kit for shark attack victims.

The Orleans Fire Department in Massachusetts has placed the kits on some of its remote beaches to get life-saving equipment closer to potential victims.

The kits contain, "bleeding control dressings, gloves and eye protection, and they are in a waterproof and airtight sealed case up the beach," Fire Chief Anthony Pike tells CNN.

Eventually 10 kits will be deployed. These are in addition to those already available with lifeguards, EMTs on the beaches, and in fire department vehicles.

Pike said the kits are great for doctors, nurses, and off-duty first responders. And directions are provided to help those who lack medical training.

The kits are for serious incidents only, Pike warns -- not for minor cuts form a shell on the ground. They're for "any major bleeding emergency that may arise."

And with at least a dozen sharks swimming nearby, that's the "major bleeding emergency" on most minds.

"I hope we never have to use them, but if we do they are there," Pike said.

Sharks are common in the area, but attacks are rare -- and fatal encounters almost unheard of. Last summer, a swimmer at a Cape Cod beach died in what experts said was the state's first fatal attack in more than 80 years.

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