JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Two Region 8 public schools are working to get ready for anything that bleeds.
Representatives with the Stop the Bleeding Foundation presented "Stop the Bleeding" kits to members of the Jonesboro and Nettleton Public School Systems.
Dr. Spencer Guinn, an orthopedic surgeon, volunteers as a SWAT physician and training instructor for the Jonesboro Police Department and is part of Stop the Bleeding.
Dr. Guinn said this campaign was being thought about several years ago.
"I was in the Army Reserves and served in Iraq back in 2003," Guinn said. "When I came home, the training I had in the military, I got recruited to start doing it with law enforcement. Particularly, with SWAT teams. And as we saw how successful these results were, we decided to take it not just to SWAT teams, but law enforcement as well. And the first group that gave us a donation was the Jonesboro Rotary Club. And there was so much interest from other civic clubs. We had people from churches and schools that wanted training. That was when we realized that we could take this to others. Everybody learned CPR back in the '60s and '70s when that was a new concept. Why can't we do this with civilians as well? Through about 2010 and 2011 it really started to get popular. And finally, Department of Homeland Security convened a conference where they brought experts in from every field across the country. That was when they decided this needed to be a national initiative."
Guinn said there is both a national and state program. In 2017, they decided to branch out further.
"Last year we had been working with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education to get this training into schools," Guinn said. "So, the Arkansas Department of Health actually gave a grant to the Arkansas Department of Education to train school nurses in the "Train the Trainer" program."
He said nurses could then take back what they have learned and teach it to even more people in their school system.
"And as a benefit to having your nurses go through the training, the grant money allowed for the purchase of these public access Stop the Bleeding kit. The way they broke it down is however many schools you had within your district, you'd get one of these for each one of those."
Lori Ellis is a registered nurse for Nettleton Public Schools. She was thrilled when she heard about the program.
"I thought this was a really good program," Ellis said. "I think these kits will come in handy. If we have any major catastrophes happen at our school, any natural disasters or anything else that happens at our schools this will really come in handy for our staff to handle any catastrophes."
Patty Cole, a MacArthur Junior High School nurse, was equally excited.
"As far as bleeding goes, these are some of the biggest emergencies that the first few minutes make a big difference," Cole said. "So, that's great for the first few minutes that the ambulance can get there."
Ellis said everyone is getting trained.
"Our crisis director notified us that we were going to be having a course over the summer if any of our nurses were interested that we could go to it," Ellis said. "We sent all of our nurses to the program and it was just a really good program. Now, we can train people in our schools for this."
Dr. Guinn said it's about properly training everyone for when seconds count.
"Each one of these has five kits within it," Dr. Guinn said. "So, our primary focus in the state of Arkansas right now is law enforcement and first responders and the other priority right now is schools."
The kits contain tourniquets, pressure bandages, chest wound seals, and other supplies to address uncontrolled bleeding.
"I think that once our teachers and our staff members are trained we will be able to save more lives if something was to happen if a tragic event happened at our school," Ellis said. "I believe once we get everyone trained there will be a lot of lives saved from this program."
Dr. Guinn said schools that missed out this time are going to get another chance to participate.
"Arkansas Children's Hospital received a $150,000 grant this year to put more of these out," Dr. Guinn said. "So, there's going to be another wave of training this year for schools that didn't get in on the first go around."
Jonesboro received 10 kits and Nettleton received 7.
The kits are being delivered to 269 Arkansas schools.
For more information about Stop the Bleeding Foundation, click here.