Fire, police departments partner to offer Stop the Bleed training

December 6, 2019

Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign aimed at equipping, training and encouraging members of the general public to help in the event of a massive traumatic event until professional medical help arrives. Its mantra is simple: the only thing more tragic than a death… is a death that could have been prevented.

Sgt. Charles Burks (right) wraps a tourniquet around Lt. Chris Harrington's arm.

Sgt. Charles Burks (right) wraps a tourniquet around Lt. Chris Harrington’s arm.

Clemson University has joined the movement over the past few years. In 2017, Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG) worked with staff from the university’s public safety teams to purchase trauma kits. The first four kits — complete with a tourniquet and compression bandage — were installed that fall in Hendrix Student Center and Robert M. Cooper Library. Since that time, 34 additional kits have been installed in administrative and academic buildings throughout Clemson’s campus.

“Applying a pressure bandage and tourniquet can save a life, even if it’s just one,” said Capt. Bill Shivar of the Clemson University Fire Department (CUFD) and Emergency Medical Services. “But it involves taking action during both a physically and mentally traumatic opportunity.”

Trauma kits have been installed in highly concentrated areas on Clemson’s campus. Officials have purposefully installed the kits in visible areas so the public is accustomed to seeing them and knowing where they are located. Shivar said CUFD is working with information technology to try and build an interactive map for trauma kit locations through the my.Clemson app.

“We want people to see that big red kit and automatically know what it means and where to find it in the event it’s ever needed,” said Sgt. Charles Burks of the Clemson University Police Department (CUPD).

Shivar and Burks were among four instructors who delivered a pilot training program on Dec. 5 to a select group of building security coordinators. They were joined by Jennifer Thackston of CUFD and Lt. Chris Harrington from CUPD.

Donna Jervis (left) watches as Jennifer Thackston adjusts a tourniquet on her arm.

Donna Jervis (left) watches as Jennifer Thackston adjusts a tourniquet on her arm.

The training was based on a structured curriculum from the Department of Homeland Security that allows all persons to be able to intervene in the event of a traumatic event. Overarching goals of the training focused on how to identify life-threatening bleeding and to stop it. Participants learned the ABCs of bleeding control: Alert 911; Bleeding – find the source by looking for a high and continuous volume of blood; and Compress – apply direct pressure to the wound until medical help arrives.

The instructors hope to use the pilot training to gather feedback from participants and will begin scheduling courses through the Tiger Training platform for the 2020 spring semester with students, faculty and staff.

“The main thing we want the campus community to know is that anyone can be trained to intervene in a situation involving massive bleeding,” Thackston said. “It takes a first responder an average of seven to 10 minutes to respond to a massive traumatic event, so the ability to lend help until EMS arrives on the scene is immeasurable. Our public safety teams are proud to partner together to offer this important program to the university.”