Ripon partners introduce ‘Stop the Bleed’ effort to save lives

Shelly Haberman
Stop the Bleed

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, so it is important to quickly stop the blood loss.

Bystanders can take simple steps to keep the injured person alive until appropriate medical care is available. There are some very simple actions anyone can take to help save a life.

“Stop the Bleed” is a nationwide campaign to empower individuals to act quickly and save lives. Three partners - the Ripon Area School District, Ripon Guardian Ambulance Service, and Ripon Medical Center - are bringing this program locally to provide lifesaving training initially to more than 80 school district staff in early August.

In addition, thanks to financial support from The Foundation for Ripon Medical Center and the Ripon Guardian Ambulance Service, 150 kits will be utilized throughout the school district in classrooms, media centers, libraries and other common areas. The Fox Valley Regional Trauma Advisory Council also gave eight kits for the Ripon Area School District.

The Stop the Bleed campaign was launched by the White House in 2015 in response to the massacre three years earlier at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“The Stop the Bleed campaign is as simple if not more simple than CPR,” says Jennifer Rickert, BSN, RN, Ripon Medical Center trauma coordinator. “I like to say PPT for STB (Pressure, Packing and Tourniquet for Stopping the Bleed). If through our collaboration with our partners we can save one life, it is worth it. This education can be used at home, at work and in schools. It is a wide reaching program to save lives by ‘Stopping the Bleed.’”

The Stop the Bleed effort has four main goals:

  • To train bystanders how to stop bleeding with pressure, packing and tourniquets.
  • To train law enforcement officers how to stop bleeding in victims, their fellow officers and themselves.
  • To conduct and facilitate “Train the Trainer” classes for paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and other healthcare professionals, who can then teach these lifesaving skills to members of the communities they serve
  • To encourage placement of bleeding control kits, containing items such as dressings and tourniquets, in publicly accessible locations.

“Collaborating with our partners at Ripon Medical Center provides us with a vast amount of experience and training expertise to share with our community partners to enhance the health and safety of all,” according to John Teachout, Ripon Guardian Ambulance Service EMS chief. “The main goals of the program are to stress the importance of remaining calm, building resilience by empowering the public to aid those with life threatening bleeding, and providing kits containing the materials necessary to stop uncontrollable bleeding.”

Both Ripon Medical Center and Ripon Guardian Ambulance Service team members will be offering training.

“It has been shown in other mass casualty situations that the reason so many people are still alive right now is because there were individuals out there who were putting tourniquets on limbs and putting pressure on bleeding wounds,” says Rickert. “This program teaches people how to correctly apply pressure, how to apply bandaging at the same time and how to apply tourniquets.”

“This training is so very, very important for our staff,” according to Mary Whitrock, Ripon Area School District superintendent. “Our hope is that everyone will connect pressure, packing and tourniquet with crisis first aid just as readily as we connect stop, drop and roll with fire safety. The safety of our students, staff and community improves if those first on the scene act quickly, taking the necessary steps to assist in every way. We are all in this together. The district appreciates having the support of Ripon Medical Center and Guardian Ambulance Service.”

For more information on the “Stop the Bleed” campaign, visit bleedingcontrol.org, or call Ashley Schwalenberg, RN, BSN, Ripon Medical Center Emergency Department clinical supervisor at (920) 745-3455.

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