Training groups to Stop the Bleed

November 28, 2018

Farm accidents. Occupational injuries. Car crashes. Even a tornado.

Your mind doesn’t have to go straight to mass shootings to justify taking advantage of a new service being offered by the Three Rivers Ambulance Authority, also known as TRAA.

So says Ben Goldsberry, director of clinical services for the ambulance authority, which Tuesday rolled out Stop the Bleed, a new nationwide program,. It is supported by the Department of Homeland Security and trains people how to buy time if someone near them suffers a bleeding wound.

Stop the Bleed “came about because of mass shootings where they found people were dying before rescuers could get there,” Goldsberry said after a demonstration of staunching a wound using a specially designed kit.

“There are some pretty simple techniques you can use, and we’re offering to come to groups and provide training,” he said.

Among those that could be aided by training are school, church and civic groups and business employees.

The training session is free. One kit is provided for every 10 people trained from a nonprofit group. Business groups that undergo training pay $50 per kit; kits are not available without training.

Inside the kit, which comes in a canvas carry bag, are packages of gauze, scissors and a tourniquet and pairs of protective medical gloves to guard against blood-borne diseases.

Goldsberry said he could not point to an instance in which someone’s use of a kit saved a life. But he said minutes can matter.

A severe puncture wound that compromises a large blood vessel in an arm or a leg can turn fatal in five minutes, he said. The average TRAA response time in the city is about 51/2 minutes, he said.

However, circumstances such as traffic, disaster response or shooting protocol can delay arrival of first responders, Goldsberry said.

Among topics covered by the training are safely accessing a wound, using compression to hold back bleeding, packing an open wound and tourniquet application.

The training also includes the best locations to keep kits in the event of a shooting situation. Goldsberry said that could be in the so-called safe room recommended by run-hide-fight trainings.

The kit also can be stored with other emergency supplies or equipment, such as an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, he said. An AED is used in cases of cardiac arrest, when a person’s heart has stopped beating. 

Good Samaritan laws apply to people who use Stop the Bleed training, Goldsberry said. Once a person knows the techniques and the reasons behind them, he or she can assist even without a kit by using material around them, he added.

Emergency responders hope to spread Stop the Bleed training so it is routinely taught, much like cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is taught today, Goldsberry said.

Information about scheduling a training is at www.traa-ems.com or at 260-423-1436.


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