Teachers and other school staff gathered at the high school recently to learn skills they hope to never use.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, more than 300 participated in the national Stop the Bleed training, sponsored by the North Haven Fire Department. Through classroom training and hands-on exercises they learned how to help prevent someone from bleeding to death before first responders arrive.
“We've already come to realize that a school shooting is a distinct possibility,” Fire Chief Paul Januszewski said. “We have a (school resource) officer to address the threat, but we still have to take care of the wounded.”
As part of the initiative, each school will receive at least one new tourniquet kit by the end of the year.
Januszewski said it only takes minutes for a person to bleed to death. The goal of the training was to provide staff with the skills needed in those first few minutes.
“Peoples' first instinct when something happens is just to step back and observe, thinking they can't make a difference,” Januszewski said. “When you're getting training like this, it actually instills that great confidence so that when they see something, they step in.”
Superintendent of Schools Robert Cronin said school shootings are a difficult topic, but he feels the training is necessary and helpful.
“It’s a topic that we don't want to talk about, nor do we want to think about, but our world is our world and we have to be prepared,” he said.
After an informational presentation by Deputy Fire Chief Scott Martus, about 20 instructors split staff into groups to learn how to use tourniquet kits. The instructors included staff from Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Trauma Center and paramedics.
Stop the Bleed is a national initiative started after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School as a way to empower the public to act as immediate responders. The program teaches basic bleeding control techniques and provides tools like packing and tourniquets to the general public.