WILDWOOD — A third of the teachers in the Wildwood School District are now trained in bleeding control, thanks to the local Fire Department.
The local Stop the Bleed training is part of a community outreach initiative from the Wildwood Fire Department that began in the fall. Stop the Bleed was developed in 2013 after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“I’m a coach, so I needed to do it,” said bilingual aide Alyssa Cox, who also coaches high school softball.
Fire Capt. James Grauel presented Stop the Bleed training to 36 of the district’s 105 teachers Friday as part of a professional development day at the high school.
“The most frequent cause of preventable death is in the extremities,” Grauel said as he taught the teachers about when and how to address uncontrolled bleeding. “A serious life-threatening injury is going to require a serious amount of pressure for the duration.”
The teachers learned how to pack a wound and use a tourniquet. He also dispelled a myth that use of tourniquets could lead to loss of limbs.
“Put it on, you’re not doing any damage,” Grauel said.
Stop the Bleed was created by the American College of Surgeons in collaboration with the medical community and representatives from the federal government, the National Security Council, the U.S. military, the FBI, and governmental and nongovernmental emergency medical response organizations in response to the rising number of active-shooter scenarios and mass-casualty events.
Jen Hanna, a special education teacher at the middle school, said training prepares her to help save someone in an emergency.
Hanna, who also coaches middle school softball, said she has never dealt with an uncontrolled-bleeding scenario and was surprised to learn the tourniquet myth was false.
“Now, they’re saying, ‘Yes, you definitely do (use one),’” she said.
Hanna said this is one more emergency training to add to her arsenal.
“I’ve done CPR training, we’ve done heat-stroke prevention,” she said. “You should definitely be prepared for anything this day and age.”
Wildwood’s two school nurses also were on hand for the Stop the Bleed lesson.
“I love it,” said nurse Cindy Fritz. “We have industrial arts programs, we have culinary arts. I think it’s important that everyone be prepared.”
Wildwood Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction Josepha Penrose said the training was the district’s proactive attempt to improve first-aid training for the staff and not reactive to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“The nurses are great, but there’s only two of them, and we have three buildings,” Penrose said.
Penrose said the national Stop the Bleed organization is on a mission to get its emergency training and kits into every school district, similar to what has been done with automated external defibrillators.
Although the training was planned in advance of last month’s school shooting in Florida, teachers said Friday they were glad they would know what to do in that situation.
“We need to know this now in the society we live in,” Cox said.