The East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School cafeteria was packed with district community members for its “Stop the Bleed — Save a Life” program. The training session is designed for nonmedical people to take action in an emergency situation until help arrives.

Administered by Northwell Health Public Health Educator Catherine Dunckley, attendees learned the proper sequence of responding to someone who is experiencing life-threatening bleeding. The first step is to ensure the safety of the rescuer and making sure 911 is called. Afterward, identify the source of the bleeding and apply pressure to the wound with both hands. Since bystanders would not typically have the proper medical supplies on hand, Ms. Dunckley explained that a piece of clothing or clean towel can be used to pack a wound or use as a tourniquet.

According to Superintendent of Schools Lisa Ruiz, the high school currently has about a half dozen trauma first aid kits throughout the building, which include latex gloves, gauze and tourniquets designed to cut off blood flow both in and out of an extremity.

During the hands-on training, participants packed a wound, applied pressure and used a tourniquet on foam rollers before practicing on one another. 

After the session, they were all recognized for their training by receiving a certificate from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. The district plans to roll the program out to additional staff members and upperclassmen at the high school during the 2019-2020 school year. 

The administration thanks all those who participated in this informative and potentially life-saving program.