Thanks to $1m in funding from the State of Georgia, Bryan County Schools are now an even safer place. This funding has been contributed through a Georgia Trauma Commission program called Stop the Bleed – Georgia.
Whilst the tragedy of violence in schools is something we never wish to consider; recent history has taught us that we must always be as well prepared as possible to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012, where 26 teachers and students so sadly lost their lives, a world-class team of government leaders and healthcare professionals combined their profound expertise to form The Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events.
This panel was assembled to focus their collective experience on evaluating issues and making recommendations for proactive and actionable change. Those recommendations are now known as The Hartford Consensus, referring to the city where the group held their discussions.
Following consultancy, The White House launched the Stop the Bleed awareness in campaign in 2015, alongside the announcement:
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.
No matter how rapid the arrival of professional emergency responders, bystanders will always be first on the scene. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes, therefore it is important to quickly stop the blood loss. Those nearest to someone with life threatening injuries are best positioned to provide first care. According to a recent National Academies of Science study, trauma is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 46.
One essential factor to implement this new focus on educating and equipping those present during such casualties, or immediate responders, was to introduce a Bleeding Control Kit. The main function of such kits is to support bystanders in giving potentially life-saving care until medical professionals reach the scene, primarily through critical haemorrhage control.
A significant barrier for emergency medical responders is that they may not be able to start administering crucial first aid to victims, should there still be an active threat. This difficult scenario extends to law enforcement, who may be forced to prioritise clearing a building to ensure that medical staff can safely enter, before they are able to respond to pleas for assistance.
Georgia is proud of being the first state in the country to roll out Stop the Bleed to every school including both training and outfitting schools with kits.
The Georgia Trauma Commission is divided into 10 regions, with Bryan County being within Region 9, the second largest region in the state.
Led by Richmond Hill resident Stephanie Gendron, Region 9 became the very first in the state to complete the process of rolling out Stop the Bleed. Therefore, Bryan County Schools were among the first in the entire country to have the kits, resources, and training necessary to help prevent loss of life during a mass-casualty event.
One main purpose of Stop the Bleed – Georgia is to equip every school in the state with a set of 12 Bleeding Control Kits, available for use should any mass casualty event occur. Whilst a one-day training course is provided for 10+ staff members from every school, the kits are designed to be accessible by any bystander, whether they have attended a training course or not.
There are now 111 individuals within the Bryan County School District who have received this training from the Georgia Trauma Commission, with the highest concentration of trainees being 17 located at Bryan County High School. The kits are strategically placed throughout school grounds in locations selected for fast accessibility.
In additional to all Bryan County Schools, every bus in the district is also now equipped with a Bleeding Control Kit. Research shows that events triggering use of such kits can be varied and may not always be the result of intentional violence. To date, four kits have been successfully used to provide urgent medical care, with three being non-violent accidents, and one being the result of a stabbing incident.
To enable the Georgia Trauma Commission to equip all school districts with Bleeding Control Kits and professional training free of charge, funds are raised through programs such as ‘Super Speeder’ driving penalty fines.
Georgia Law defines a ‘Super Speeder’ as a driver convicted of speeding at 75mph or more on a two-lane road, or at 85mph or more on any road or highway in the state. Convicted drivers must pay a $200 ‘Super Speeder Fine’ in addition to any other fines or penalties imposed by the respective court. These funds are put to good use, by funding beneficial state programs such as Stop The Bleed – Georgia.
This groundbreaking funding was approved by Governor Deal in March 2017, and since then over 29,000 life-saving Bleeding Control Kits have been purchased to distribute and facilitate critical care and education to over 2,000 schools.
The funding was approved with the promise that volunteers from around the state including emergency medical technicians, nurses, doctors, firefighters, Homeland Security agents, etc. would assist the Trauma Commission in rolling out the program.
The Bleeding Control Kits are manufactured by North American Rescue in Greer, SC, under item number of 85-1563 and at a cost of $39.98 – a price which will be honoured for all purchases from the general public mentioning the program. North American Rescue can be reached at 888.689.6277.
For more information about the program or if your agency/organization would like to train, contact Stephanie Gendron at firstname.lastname@example.org.