ELKINS,WV—During a mass casualty event, bystanders are always the first on the scene. Davis Medical Center (DMC), the Randolph County EMS, and the Canaan Valley Volunteer Fire Department are part of a national campaign called Stop the Bleed, which educates bystanders with the simple steps they can take during an emergency to stop life-threatening bleeding.
“Someone who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes,” said Kurt Gainer, Director of the Randolph County EMS. “A bystander who knows how to intervene can mean life or death for a victim.”
Launched in 2015 by the White House, Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. In 2017 the West Virginia Hospital Association became involved in the national campaign by providing funds for Stop the Bleed kits, and training resources to hospitals across the state.
“Mass shootings and terrorist attacks prompted the development of this program, but the tools and techniques can be used in response to many types of trauma to help patients control bleeding before professional help arrives,” added Gainer.
Hollis Lipscomb is a Lead Clinical Quality Specialist with Davis Medical Center and has been driving awareness of the program since West Virginia’s initiative was started in 2018. He explained that Stop the Bleed training participants learn to help victims by controlling bleeding through the application of pressure to the wound using dressing or clothing, or with a tourniquet.
The course consists of a 30-45 minute lecture followed by 30-45 minutes of skill-out stations. Lipscomb, along with Tiffany Auvil, DMC Population Health Nurse Manager; Kurt Gainer, and Joe Strait, Fire Fighter / EMT with Canaan Valley Volunteer Fire Department, are leading a number of training sessions in the Randolph and Tucker County communities.
“Across the nation, training is occurring in schools, municipal buildings, churches, community centers, and businesses,” said Canaan Valley VFD’s Joe Strait. “We hope there’s never a need to use the Stop the Bleed training. But if people are ever faced with a tragic event, we want to empower them to respond quickly and correctly to reduce loss of life.”
In August, Mr. Strait will train members of the Tucker County Board of Education, which made the training for educators and personnel a priority. Lipscomb and Auvil, who have done two trainings for the Randolph County BOE, have additional classes set prior to the start of the 2019/2020 school year.
The effort is made possible largely through the support and cooperation of Randolph and Tucker County Boards of Education. Tiffany Auvil said she is working closely with both BOE Superintendents who have been extremely supportive in getting the training for their staff. Auvil also recognized the DHS Foundation for helping to secure funding for Stop the Bleed kits for individual schools.
Auvil is taking the lead to raise the community funds needed to place a Stop the Bleed Response Kit in each school in Randolph and Tucker County. “The Davis Health System Foundation has been very cooperative in helping us organize the effort to raise these funds. Our goal is to fund at least 13 kits initially.”
The kits range in price from $500 to $800 depending on the number of enrolled students. “To start, we want a kit in each high school, middle school and athletic field in both counties,” Auvil said. “We need nine for Randolph and four for Tucker County. “Thanks to several local businesses who have “adopted a school”, we already have several kits purchased. We’re confident local businesses will step forward to cover the cost of other kits for our schools.”
For more information about Stop the Bleed visit https://www.bleedingcontrol.org/, or for information about local training contact Tiffany Auvil, Davis Medical Center, at 304.637.3300 ext. 1199. In Tucker County, call Joe Straight at the Canaan Valley Volunteer Fire Department at 304.866.7450.
Call the DHS Foundation office at 304.630.3043 if you, or your business, is interested in sponsoring a Stop the Bleed Kit for a local school.