Would you know what to do to help someone survive a mass casualty event or even a severe car crash? Did you know that the leading cause of death for those under the age of 46 is trauma? Did you know that simple techniques such as applying pressure, packing a wound or applying a tourniquet could dramatically increase the odds of a victim’s survival?
On May 2, 2018, the Health Department’s Disaster Preparedness Drill was part of the national campaign to Stop the Bleed. Stop the Bleed is a national campaign begun by the White House in 2015 to educate organizations and individuals on different methods to stop heavy bleeding due to trauma and increase a victim’s chances of survival. The Health Department enlisted the assistance of Boone County Emergency Management, the Burlington Fire Protection District, and the Hebron Fire Protection District.
Capt. Bill Fletcher from Boone County Emergency Management led the primary training on Stop the Bleed. Capt. Fletcher discussed how the first responder community has learned from mass casualty events. The knowledge gained from these events and combat led to the development of the evidence based techniques demonstrated in the Stop the Bleed training.
To further instill the information presented, Health Department staff participated in hands on training of the techniques of applying pressure, packing wounds, and applying tourniquets with life sized models. Some of the models actually had simulated blood to make the experience more real.
Staff also got to practice moving injured persons using a variety of methods for transporting victims from the scene to medical attention. This part of the training was an exercise in trust in their co-workers by those staff members being transported.
Boone County Emergency Management also had a mobile command center set-up in the parking lot of the Boone County Extension Center so that Health Department staff could see what support resources would be available to coordinate the response to a mass casualty event.
Although the training focused on immediate treatment of victims during a mass casualty event, an additional benefit of the Stop the Bleed training was that Health Department staff got to meet and work with staff of the Boone County Emergency Management, the Burlington Fire District, and the Hebron Fire District. In times of crisis, seeing a familiar face can make all the difference. Hands on training with community partners helped to reinforce to Health Department staff that they are not alone in promoting the health, wellness, and safety of the citizens of Northern Kentucky.