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Teachers training to 'Stop the Bleed' in emergency situations

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 17:53:01-05

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Schools are fortifying their campuses in the wake of the Parkland school shooting, but teachers are also joining a new classroom to prepare for any crisis.

Just about 300 St. Lucie County School staff members have taken their first aid training to the next level and are now certified to "Stop the Bleed."

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center started the program shortly after the Parkland school shooting.

Staff at the hospital host training sessions to teach people how to use a tourniquet and apply compression to a limb.

"It's always in the back of your head, what could happen? What might happen? Is it going to happen?" said Stephanie Hardison, occupational therapist at Parkway Elementary School.

Chinetta Neal runs the training, which puts teachers in a different classroom than what they're used to and teaches them how to help a bleeding victim until paramedics arrive.

"We go through explaining how to use a tourniquet. We talk about when to use a tourniquet. We also talk about using compression and how to properly use compression," said Neal.

Neal runs the 90-minute training with teachers, bus drivers, janitors, and anyone else who wants to learn. The St. Lucie County School District partnered with the hospital and is hoping to train as many school staff members as possible.

"It's just a matter of knowing how much pressure to put and understanding that too much pressure on a child could case more harm," said Carolyn Wilkins, Principal at Parkway Elementary School.

Wilkins and many of her staff members are showing how their passion for education extends beyond using the white board.

"You know that anything could happen at any time," said Principal Wilkins.

"Even if it's just to provide the compression and to tell a child you're going to be okay," said Hardison.

Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is already working to bring this training to other school districts, but staff also wants to open it up to churches, workplaces, and anyone who wants to learn.