It takes about three minutes for a person to bleed out from a traumatic injury.
“You can’t always count on [first responders] to get there in time,” Lt. Robert Angrisano of the Snoqualmie Fire Department (SFD) said to teachers and staff at Opstad Elementary in North Bend. “You all have to become first responders.”
SFD recently provided every school in the Snoqualmie Valley School District (SVSD) with Stop the Bleed kits. SFD has partnered with schools to train teachers and staff in how to stop uncontrollable bleeding in the case of school shootings or natural disasters.
SVSD is the first school district in the state to receive these kits and trainings, according to SFD Lt. Jake Fouts.
Stop the Bleed is a national initiative that provides education and tools to help people to stop traumatic blood loss. The bleeding control kits include tourniquets and hemostatic dressings that are the primary products and same technology the Department of Defense has tested and approved for use by all U.S. military forces.
The Snoqualmie Firefighters Association received a $12,000 grant for the Stop the Bleed program from the Greater Snoqualmie Valley 100 Women Who Care, a collaboration of Snoqualmie Valley women who fund local nonprofit organizations. The program received additional support from the Central Region EMS and Trauma Care Council, the Snoqualmie Firefighters Association, the Snoqualmie Valley Hospital, and the Snoqualmie Valley Kiwanis Club.
The donations amount to approximately $21,000.
Opstad Elementary is the second to last SVSD school to receive the kits and the training. The hour-long training session educated teachers and staff about the different types of uncontrollable bleedings and what are the optimal remedies. For instance, tourniquets should be used only on limbs and should be placed between the heart and the wound.
A quick guide to addressing bleeding “are as easy as ABC,” according to Angrisano.
A-alert (call 911)
B-bleeding (find the injury)
C-compress (apply as much pressure as you can to stop bleeding)
Following the training, teachers and staff practiced stuffing fake wounds and fastening tourniquets on one another.
Marianne Bradburn, a third-grade teacher at Opstad said she’s grateful to have received the training.
“It’s so great to have something like this. It really hits home because we need to be prepared if something should happen,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll never have a school shooting or anything like that but this training is good to have when the ‘big’ earthquake hits.”
Fouts said he is happy to be able to provide this training and is proud SVSD is the first school district in the state to deliver these kits to every school. That totals to approximately 420 classroom kits and 22 school multipack kits.
“We have just received overwhelming positive responses from the community — it’s beyond anything I could’ve imagined,” Fouts said. “We couldn’t have done it without our strong partnerships and we look forward to making this a permanent program for the years to come.”