In this age of deadly school violence first responders want to save lives through an initiative called Stop the Bleed.
Locally, the effort is being spearheaded by the Canandaigua Emergency Squad. Chief Matt Sproul and Lieutenant Arnie LaRocca discussed the program, its origins and how it works Wednesday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“The origin of the Stop the Bleed kit was from an unfortunate event that happened to a 6-year-old named Jacob Hall down in South Carolina,” explained Sproul. “He was shot during recess and passed away due to bleeding. The community got together afterwards and started making kits such as this to try to help prevent this from happening to others.”
LaRocca displayed a Stop the Bleed kit and showed how it works. “To start with, you have protective gloves, gauze, hemostatic gauze which has a chemical in it to basically stop a bleed, tourniquet, a pair of scissors. Once you place the tourniquet it has a marker in there so you can write down the time and the date of when you placed the tourniquet. So to start with you take the gauze, put direct pressure on the wound. If that doesn’t work then you go into possibly the hemostatic. If that doesn’t stop it then you place the tourniquet. The tourniquet goes on about two inches above the wound, you tighten it down until the bleed stops, lock it in place, and then you write the time down.”
And time is the key word when it comes to treating a severe bleeding wound. First responders know how to use a Stop the Bleed kit. Canandaigua Emergency Squad wants to train administrators and teachers in the Canandaigua school district how to use them so first aid can begin before first responders arrive. “Canandaigua Emergency Squad has been collaborating with the safety committees of the school system in Canandaigua to try to get these kits and training distributed to all the faculty and school buildings,” Sproul said.
The training takes about 15 minutes. The Chief said the challenge is funding. “The kits are about $50 a piece, and Canandaigua Emergency Squad is looking for sponsors to help purchase the kits through us so we can distribute them.”
LaRocca said the investment can be life saving. “If it’s an arterial bleed you possibly have up to five minutes before a person actually bleeds out.”
To help Canandaigua Emergency Squad purchase Stop the Bleed kits and train staff to use them call (585) 394-5860 or visit Canandaiguaes.org.