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Lesson learned

School staff gets an education on Stop the Bleed initiative

It’s a lesson most people never want to have to use.

On Thursday, the Rock Hill schools were the latest to take Stop the Bleed training through Lawrence County EMS and Cabell Huntington Hospital.

The course teaches how to deal with bleeding injuries after a mass casualty accident, whether it is a natural disaster or a shooting or a car accident.

“I hope they never have to use our training,” said Jennifer Murray, director of Trauma Services at Cabell Huntington Hospital. “But it can be used in a number of situations, not just a school shooting. We want them to be comfortable in a serious situation.”

She said the course gives the layperson the tools to control life-threatening bleeding in case of a mass casualty situation “like an active shooter in the schools.”

In the morning, Rock Hill High School and Middle School staff went through the training and in the afternoon, the elementary school staff took the class.

They learned how to use gauze or even a T-shirt to stuff a stab or gunshot wound and how to use a tourniquet to slow down bleeding.

The staff practiced using the tourniquet on each other. For the knife and stab wounds, they used a simulation leg.

The color and size of a deli tube of baloney, the simulation leg is hollow with holes for a bullet entry and exit wound and a slit for a stab wound. The participants put gauze in the wound while medical professionals critiqued their technique.

“You never know what is going to happen in a school setting,” said Rock Hill Elementary principal Fred Evans. “Some of the things they talked about were compound injuries which could occur in a playground setting or an unfortunate incident at school or an accident you might come up on the highway. People need to know how to take care of that.”

The Stop the Bleed program came out of the Hartford Consensus which brought members of the medical community, law enforcement and the federal government together after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 to find ways to teach people what to do in cases of mass injuries.

Murray said the first course in Lawrence County was done at Chesapeake Elementary in the spring.

“We started with the rest of Lawrence County last week,” she said.

Over 160 bus drivers were trained and over the next few weeks, 800 more school staff will be trained.

“They have been very good students and we have had many compliments after the course on how helpful it was,” Murray said.

She said Rock Hill already has bleeding control kits in the schools.

“Now they have the tools to use what has been provided to them,” Murray said. “A lot of people say they feel much more comfortable now that they have had the training. They knew how to use the kits before, just not as in depth.”

Christina Klaiber, a fourth grade Rock Hill teacher in her first year, said she felt the training was important.

“It is something that is new to me, I have never had this training before” she said. “To be with kids all day, things happen and it is best to be prepared. Now we know how to dealt with it. It’s a good way to start, since this is my first year as a teacher. Now I feel prepared.”