WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — On the heels of yet another mass shooting, this time in Buffalo, N.Y., there’s a nationwide push to teach people how to “Stop the Bleed.”
Training courses took place all day Thursday as part of National Stop the Bleed Day.
You don’t have to be an EMT or a medical professional to save someone’s life who is bleeding severely. The “Stop the Bleed” course teaches how to recognize a life-threatening bleed and intervene effectively.
“A lot of craziness is going on in the world and I just like to be prepared for my family and friends,” Aaron Travers said.
After many shootings and crashes witnesses are on the scene before first responders get there. A bystander may be the one who’s most likely to save a bleeding victim's life.
Travers drove from Osceola County to Polk County to take the lifesaving course.
“Everybody should know because the more people that do know the less opportunity for loss of life,” he said.
Robert Dummett hosts these free “Stop the Bleed” training classes.
“We have gloves, we have the tourniquet, we have roll gauze, we have the emergency blanket,” said Dummett.
Dummett is the chief training officer and executive director at In-Gauge of Polk County, a non-profit organization focused on firearms safety.
“An individual can bleed to death in less than three minutes,” Dummett said.
Data shows the average emergency response time for the arrival of EMS personnel to an emergency scene is seven minutes. Dummett said learning simple techniques can improve a bleeding victims' chances of survival.
“Packing the wound and direct pressure on the wound and if that’s not sufficient to stop the blood loss, then we want to apply a tourniquet,” Dummett said. “We’re going to tighten this until all blood flow stops. I equate it to turning off a faucet for a garden hose."
The goal is to get more people trained in the “Stop the Bleed” program, similar to the popularity of CPR training.
“The American College of Surgeons created this “Stop the Bleed” course in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy years ago," said Lakeland Regional Health trauma surgeon Dr. Andrew Gaugler said. "However, it's not just these national tragedies that make the news where people have the opportunities to save lives."
Dr. Gaugler said Lakeland Regional Health has trained 506 people this year using “Stop the Bleed” kits. He said there’s also a federal push to make the kits more widely available.
“If you walk through any public building, an airport, a post office, a shopping mall, you'll see along the walls there are signs for AED’s which are a life saving device used for cardiac arrest and CPR," Gaugler said. "I think the perfect location for a bleeding control kit would be in the location of any of those devices."
Empowering everyday people to provide life-saving care, until emergency personnel arrives.