“People in mass casualty incidents were dying due to bleeding. When you get an active shooter incident, sometimes it can take up to about a half hour for the first responders, police, state patrol to clear it before EMS responders can come in,” Brian Feist with the UnityPoint Trauma Team said.
It's part of the Stop the Bleed campaign, which was launched in October 2015 by the White House, and it encourages bystanders in any situation to be empowered.
“See something, do something. We found out a lot of people want to help, but they just didn’t know how to help. So by doing these two easy skills, they’re able to get a lot accomplished and possibly save someone’s life,” Feist said.
Feist said it’s called the ABC's of bleeding.
- “A” is for being alert and activating the EMS system. Call 911.
- “B” is for bleeding. Find out if the hurt person has significant bleeding. A good tip is if you have to think about it, it's significant.
- “C” is for compression. First you tear away clothing around the affected area, then pack the wound, and apply compression. If there is still significant bleeding, the next step is a tourniquet.
West Des Moines EMS and the UnityPoint Trauma Team visited Iowa State Patrol to give them a refresher course.
Sgt. Scott Bright said their main priority is clearing the scene of a threat so that it’s safe for EMS to come in.
“We might not have it on a large scale, something like a nightclub shooting down in Orlando or a Texas shooting or something like that. Things go on daily in Iowa and people need to be aware of that. Just because we are in the Midwest and it’s that Iowa farm life and everybody’s laidback and they say things like that aren’t going to happen in Iowa. It’s going to happen. It’s just a matter of when and what time it’s going to happen,” Bright said.
The campaign is trying to make bleeding kits available in big arenas and public places so that a bystander can take action and has the tools they would need.