AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “As first responders, we wanted to go and look at where are we going to go in the event of an emergency and we wanted to ensure that those places, those schools were prepared,” said Jeff Harbin, Amarillo Fire Department EMS Lieutenant.
Harbin describes the driving force for area emergency service agencies to join in on the national initiative called “Stop the Bleed,” which provides the Canyon and Amarillo school districts with a bleeding control kit.
“The whole point was to look at this a lot similar in the way that we look at CPR in public and how we can save lives with quick interventions. The curriculum came kind of based out of focusing on just a few simple techniques either through wound packing that we can utilize to help save lives,” said Harbin.
The kits contain equipment and tools to assist with the control of a serious bleeding situation. The initiative was started following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“I think it’s very important that we train our staff on how to respond to traumatic events. If we have a trauma from a student falling or a staff member falling and cutting themselves, this enables us to treat them, provide that initial treatment,” said Paul Bourquin, Amarillo I.S.D. Director of Safety.
Area emergency officials say that having teachers trained on this can literally be the difference between life and death.
“In medicine, we say time is tissue and so the longer a bleed lasts without it being controlled, the more damage that can be created. We want to address that quickly and efficiently. The use of these combat application tourniquets is the way to do that,” said Will Hendon, Amarillo Medical Services EMS Chief.