Lakewood Ranch High students learn how to react in an emergency situation.
Lakewood Ranch High ninth-grader Jalen Fredericks knows he would be panicked if he encountered a fellow student bleeding profusely.
But after receiving a certification Aug. 30 in a course called “Stop the Bleed,” Fredericks believes he would be able to do something about it.
“Applying a tourniquet is pretty simple,” Fredericks said, although he was worried he was hurting Shawna Toccalino, a paramedic with Manatee County Emergency Medical Services. Toccalino is a Stop the Bleed volunteer and helped during a presentation at Lakewood Ranch High School.
Lakewood Ranch High teacher Maggie Sharrer and Toccalino taught the seminar to 360 students.
Danielle Levato, a ninth-grade student, learned to tie a combat application tourniquet in less than three minutes and received her certification.
“I think I want to be an ER nurse, so this might be kind of useful in the future,” Levato said. “It was pretty easy to tie the tourniquet. I feel if I had to do it in a stressful situation, I could.”
The program, a White House initiative, hopes to teach civilians in an emergency situation how to stop life-threatening blood loss before paramedics can arrive on the scene.
Lakewood Ranch High School was the first high school in Manatee County to receive the training.
“This initiative was started by the White House after the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting in 2012 after the surgeon general said some of the deaths of the students and teachers could have been avoided if people on the scene had known how to stop the bleeding,” said Cynthia Tanner, a trauma specialist at Blake Medical Center and a Stop the Bleed volunteer. “Although that is an extreme case, this training is just like CPR. It can save a life and every person should know how to do it.”
To receive certification, students had to listen to a presentation by Tanner and other EMS workers who volunteered for the program. The presentation teaches “the ABCs of Stop the Bleed: Alert 911, find the Bleeding and Compress the injury.”
After the presentation, students practiced on a mannequin to pack a wound with gauze and apply a combat application tourniquet.
Senior Chase Coyner said that he’s been trained in CPR, and Stop the Bleed was similar in terms of learning the basics.
“If anything ever happened and no one else was around, I would be able to help,” Coyner said. “I don’t want to go into the medical field, but it is kind of interesting.”