Area schools are joining the nationwide Stop the Bleed campaign aimed at giving bystanders lifesaving skills in shootings and other emergencies.
Last week, on the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Streetsboro School District officials revealed plans to place emergency Stop the Bleed buckets filled with tourniquets, gauze and other first-aid supplies in every classroom and office.
"If we ever had an unfortunate incident where we had to manage first aid or even, God forbid, apply tourniquets or combat gauze, we are going to have these items housed in virtually every corner of every one of our buildings,” Michael Daulbaugh, superintendent of the Portage County school district, told school board members last week.
University Hospitals has been donating the buckets to area districts since 2017 as part of the nationwide effort. A key part of the initiative is providing free training on how to control life-threatening blood loss until professional help arrives.
Uncontrolled bleeding can lead to death within five to 10 minutes, according to the BleedingControl.org. The national effort's online resource was developed after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
So far, more than 100 school districts, churches and companies have received free buckets and training through UH. Daniel Ellenberger, director of UH EMS Training and Disaster Preparedness Institute, said the health system's goal is to have a bucket in every classroom in Northeast Ohio. The buckets and their contents cost about $70 each.
Districts in the area that have received the buckets and training include Twinsburg and Macedonia in Summit County, Medina and Highland in Medina County, and Crestwood, Kent and Windham in Portage County. Also in Portage, the Rootstown district will soon get buckets.
"There’s a very, very, slim possibility that something could happen, but if it did, I want to be prepared for it,” the Streetsboro superintendent told board members last week.
The buckets donated by UH contain Stop the Bleed items, including a tourniquet, combat gauze, bleeding control gauze and scissors, along with other supplies, such as toilet paper, a sheet and trash bags. The kits are not just for active shooter situations, but also for other emergency events such as tornadoes, when students may be trapped inside classrooms for long periods of time, noted Keith Grimm, president of the Streetsboro school board.
In Streetsboro, Daulbaugh said each district employee must receive free training, lasting an hour or 90 minutes. Students eventually may be trained.
“I think high school students can very easily apply a tourniquet and learn how to shove gauze in a wound. I think our elementary kids could learn how to apply a compress to somebody who’s bleeding and in distress. I’d eventually like to roll this training out, but we’ve got to take baby steps,” Daulbaugh said.
In addition to 350 buckets, there also will be emergency kits mounted on the wall next to each of the two automated external defibrillators in every building in the school district.
UH, headquartered in Cleveland, has donated Stop the Bleed kits to the Streetsboro Police Department and hopes to have one in every police car. The American College of Surgeons is a supporter of the nationwide effort.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Krista S. Kano can be reached at email@example.com or 330-541-9416.