Lack of life skills learning at schools

Cleveland County teachers learn life-saving skills

Cleveland County teachers and staff are learning potentially life-saving medical skills through a national program initially started in the wake of mass school shootings.

Jessica Crawford, injury prevention specialist and Safe Kids coordinator with Atrium Health-Cleveland, said it was a joint effort with school resource officers to provide Stop the Bleed training.

The nationwide initiative arose following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 in an effort to help schools and communities know what to do in the event of a mass casualty event.

Mike Chapman, school resource officer, said several years ago, he was doing training with teachers on active shooter scenarios and wanted to offer something additional. He realized kits could be included in schools to help prevent bleeding not only from a shooting, but falls, vehicle wrecks or other accidents. Chapman connected with Crawford and the two started making plans three years ago but had to shelve it during COVID-19.

With the help of a grant from Healthcare Foundation of Cleveland County, they were able to launch the program, install kits, and begin training staff how to identify and stop life-threatening bleeding.

Last year, training was completed at Cleveland Early College High School and Elizabeth Elementary and the goal is to offer it at every school in the county by the end of the school year.

Chapman said each school resource officer has been trained as an instructor, and the SROs break down groups of teachers into pods and teach the group.

“The goal is to get 75% of the staff trained,” Crawford said.

Shelby Police, school resource officers, the Healthcare Foundation and school administrators recently worked together to offer Stop the Bleed training at Elizabeth Elementary School and Cleveland Early College High School. The plan is to implement it in every school.

This includes teachers, cafeteria workers, office staff and bus drivers.

In each school there will be a wall-mounted kit with first aid materials to stop or staunch bleeding.

The feedback has been positive.

“They love it,” Chapman said. “It’s very bare minimum. It’s so simple.”

The training teaches people when and how to use a tourniquet, apply pressure and pack wounds. Stopping bleeding can buy time until the person can get further medical care and potentially save someone from bleeding out.

Erica King, first-grade teacher at Elizabeth Elementary School, said she has no medical training and prior to Stop the Bleed, had no idea what to do in an emergency.

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