Chimacum schools ‘Stop the Bleed’

Posted 7/3/19

As part of the Chimacum School District’s expressed commitment to safety and security, roughly 140 of its staff members took the time to take part in “Stop the Bleed” lifesaving training June 17.

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Chimacum schools ‘Stop the Bleed’

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As part of the Chimacum School District’s expressed commitment to safety and security, roughly 140 of its staff members took the time to take part in “Stop the Bleed” lifesaving training June 17.

Superintendent Rick Thompson likened the training to CPR and using an Automated External Defibrillator, in terms of a skill that he believes everyone should possess.

“It’s simple to learn and can save lives,” Thompson said. “Participation in this training by school staff adds to the overall safety promoted by the school district.”

East Jefferson Fire Rescue personnel explained the “Stop the Bleed” training incorporates the use of wound care and tourniquets to control bleeding in victims who sustain injuries that could result in significant blood loss.

Thompson described the” unique challenge” of organizing two training periods to accommodate the Chimacum staff members, and credited its success to Port Townsend Police Department School Resource Officer Jeremy Vergin, as well as a retired doctor who is the medical Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness (NPREP) lead for the Coyle Community.

Vergin participated in both the “Stop the Bleed” class at Port Townsend High School on Oct. 12 and the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) training at Blue Heron Middle School on Oct. 17.

Thompson noted the “Stop the Bleed” training relates to active shooter response training brought to the area by Vergin, who is a certified Instructor for the ALICE active shooter training being implemented throughout the country.

“Stop the Bleed” is First Aid-related training for the public that focuses on life-saving measures that pertain to mass casualty events as well as daily life, Vergin said.

“By contrast, ALICE is an active-shooter response for civilians,” he added.

ALICE training was adopted by Chimacum School District last year, with help from Chimacum School District administration and staff, as well as the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

“The involvement of parents and volunteers who are a part of NPREP groups active in the county have all helped to make this type of training available,” Thompson said. “These same volunteers have stepped up to assist in creating a new district emergency operations plan, and are working with local organizations like the Citizens for Safe Students, who have already funded and deployed emergency supplies in the school district, and the Rotary Club, that funded emergency ham radios.”

“Stop the Bleed” enlisted the efforts (and trainers) of East Jefferson Fire Rescue, the Jefferson County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Jefferson Healthcare, the Port Townsend Police and the Department of Emergency Management (DEM).

As an example, the DEM provided training support, prop construction and surplus medical supplies for the class, all of which were sorted and prepared by four Chimacum High School Students, while school staff helped set up the lecture and lab spaces.

“This would not have happened without everyone’s participation and support,” Thompson said. “The feedback I got was that it was worth the staff’s time to continue preparing. Many of the situations presented in ‘Stop the Bleed’ are applicable to incidents outside of schools, too.”

Thompson pledged Chimacum would continue more preparedness activities in the future, and identified one of its next phases as gathering more supplies.

“We have short-term emergency kits,” Thompson said. “As we are located in the center of the county, we would like to work with the community to expand our medical, food and emergency supplies.”

In the coming school year, Thompson reported the Chimacum School District plans to roll out more training and aspects of its emergency operations plan.

“This, too, will require the participation of many volunteers, agencies, organizations, businesses, parents and students as we move forward to make our campuses a safe and enjoyable learning environment,” Thompson said.

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