Today’s Blog has been taken over by my daughter…
Have you ever seen a horrible event in the news? Have you ever wondered, how could I have helped save those people who died?
The answer: Get trained.
In mass casualty events, the more people who are trained, the more victims will be given life-saving medical attention sooner. If everyone gets trained to deal with first aid, and especially massive hemorrhage, more people will be saved.
At my school, there is a big emphasis on community service and in our 8th-grade year, we must design and implement our own community service project. After attending my father’s tactical first aid courses, I was inspired to help better prepare my immediate community by creating a class of my own for my peers as my community service project.
I previously participated in designing first aid curriculum for a Girl Scout summer camp in Oregon. I helped teach 350 girls with ages ranging from 1st through 7th grade about first aid skills. Drawing on these experiences, for my community service project, I designed a 55-minute summary course covering how to deal with bandaging, massive hemorrhage, recovery position, and hypothermia prevention in emergency situations to teach school-aged kids these important skills.
Using information from the Crisis Medicine hemorrhage control block, our Girl Scout AMT Camp first aid curriculum, the White House Stop the Bleed campaign, and materials from FEMA websites, I created my course. My target audience was 6th and 7th graders at my school. I interviewed my dad to get his professional opinion on my proposed list of skills and how best to implement training these skills. I was told by an administrator at another school that kids couldn’t handle the materials, and I should stick to band-aids, the Heimlich maneuver, concussions, and ice packs. I suddenly realized many adults don’t understand the importance of these materials. I also realized adults underestimate kids’ willingness and interest in learning cool life skills. I talked to my dad about the medical literature about teaching these things and came to the conclusion that the bandaid-icepack curriculum was not enough.
I also realized adults underestimate kids’ willingness and interest in learning cool life skills.
Once I had the list of skills I wanted to teach, I started figuring out how I was going to teach them. I knew that teaching kids meant including interactive activities, games, and not just boring lecture. I borrowed the necessary medical training supplies from my dad’s company, Crisis Medicine, and began practicing applying bandages and tourniquets to make sure that as I was teaching, I could show the students as smoothly and properly as possible.
The only available time to teach was during lunch on a busy Friday. This means while I started to teach, 26 kids were still microwaving lunches and there was a bit of chaos. The students were interested in the material and once the first bandages came out, lunchboxes got set aside. One of my close friends offered to be my training partner so I could demonstrate applying bandages and tourniquets to someone else. Once all the students (and four teachers) practiced, we moved to a larger space to teach and practice the recovery position. Despite my teacher telling the kids “You can leave if you feel too overwhelmed,” no one left. Everyone practiced the skills.
To end my class, we played the interactive game from the FEMA website, Until Help Arrives. This game is a video choose your own adventure game to reinforce the skills we learned. A family goes to the amusement park and witness multiple emergency events where they are able to be the help before help arrives. In one example, an old woman gets run over by a runaway pig in a tutu statue and is bleeding. You are given the option to use a t-shirt, a commercially available tourniquet, or a piggy bank statute to stop the bleeding and must choose the right one. My peers all chose the tourniquet and after my class, I believe they could properly use one.
In events where there are trained civilians, the police and fire officials can spend more time fighting the enemy. No medical care should be given while there is still a direct threat to your, and the casualties lives. If the police can disarm the attacker, the sooner you can begin giving medical support. Although medical training takes time and money, being able to help in a crisis is the most important thing you can do to help society.
It turns out this material isn’t actually new though, the preface to the 1949 American Red Cross First Aid Textbook for Juniors says it was “intended for use in teaching 12, 13, or 14-year-olds.” The book includes topics such as shock, wounds, and dressings, and proper use of a tourniquet.