Stop the Bleed training for faculty comes to TESD

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By Richard Li and Sophia Pan, News Editor and Copy Editor

The TESD safety committee participated in Stop the Bleed training during the May 22 safety committee meeting. During the staff in-service the day before, half of the faculty in the district completed the same training. 

Stop the Bleed is a nationwide awareness campaign that aims to train and equip bystanders to assist in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The White House initiated the campaign in response to the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Mark Cataldi, the district’s director of assessments and accountability, believes the program ensures readiness in a wide variety of situations involving life-threatening bleeding.

“You have to think that some of this is based off of things that you never want to happen. That’s a tough thing to think about, but we need to feel prepared for those kinds of things,” Cataldi said. “This particular training can be applied to other things, like if someone gets injured on the athletic field with significant bleeding or there’s a car accident in the parking lot.”

According to Mike Baskin, EMS Captain at Berwyn Fire Company, in a situation with life-threatening bleeding, a few minutes can make all the difference. Baskin headed the safety committee’s Stop the Bleed training.

“Things like CPR, first aid and Stop the Bleed in the community are important because a lot of times people in our community are on the scene of incidents before first responders are. The more people in your community that are trained in how to do this stuff, the better off your community is,” Baskin said.

During the sessions, participants learned how to identify life-threatening bleeding and how to apply the ABCs of stopping major bleeding — Alert (call 911), Bleeding (find the injury) and Compress (apply pressure). Part of their training involved learning how to use a tourniquet, a device used to stop the flow of blood to a limb.

Valley Forge Elementary School teacher and safety committee member Michael Wong felt that the training helped teach him a variety of skills necessary for dealing with serious bleeding.

“I learned how to pack a wound, I learned how to identify which kinds of wounds are ones that need to be addressed through these kinds of methods rather than just applying pressure as we might do for a much smaller wound, and I learned how to apply a tourniquet and the terms of the mechanics of applying the tourniquet and also the location,” Wong said.

Currently, bleed prevention supplies in the district are limited, with the most sophisticated equipment available only in nurses’ offices. With the training program’s growth, however, the district also plans to expand accessibility to supplies necessary for stopping serious bleeding.

“The plan is that over the summer, administration and members of the safety committee brainstorm and see what makes sense in terms of having some basic supplies in classrooms that are easily accessible,” said Valley Forge Middle School nurse and safety committee member Barbara Kupp.

The Stop the Bleed training is one of many procedures the school district has put in place in case of emergency. Others include the buzz-in system, quick-lock mechanism on doors and interior lockdown drills. Baskin hopes to expand the Stop the Bleed program to encompass a wider variety of participants.

“Our hope is that before next school year, we get as many of those staff and faculty trained as we can, and in the future, maybe potentially open up some opportunities to students who may have interest,” Baskin said. “We’ve done a couple other Stop the Bleed sessions within the community to people that had interest. More trained people, regardless of where they work or live, make your community more diverse in being able to help.”