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NYC officer saves victim’s life using potato chip bag and tape, police say

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Posted at 11:25 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 23:25:30-04

NEW YORK CITY -- Responding to a stabbing call, officers in New York City saved a person’s life earlier this month by using a potato chip bag and some tape.

On July 7, Officer Ronald Kennedy and others responded to the call in Harlem and found a person stabbed.

"We knew right away we needed to seal the chest with a puncture wound there we didn't want the air going in and collapsing his lung,” Officer Kennedy told WABC.

He saw a deli nearby and had an idea.

On body camera video, Officer Kennedy is heard saying, “go get me a bag of potato chips right now,” to a fellow officer.

It sounds like a strange request, but the other officer did as he was asked.

Kennedy tapped into his previous experience as an EMT to come up with a quick solution.

He emptied the bag of chips, had the victim lie down, then placed the empty bag over the stab wound. In the video, you can see Kennedy then taped around the bag to form a seal and waited for EMS crews to arrive.

Another officer on the scene told WABC there was an immediate change in the victim when the bag was taped down.

The bag worked for the same reason chips stay crispy in the bag - air can’t penetrate the thin aluminum that lines the bag.

"It worked out really well. We made the right calls at the right time and were really happy with the result,” Kennedy said.

The stabbing suspect was arrested later that night. The victim is reportedly still recovering.