FORT MOHAVE — Preparedness saves lives.
Mohave Valley Elementary School District employees now are better trained and equipped to help save lives, as the Fort Mojave Mesa Fire Department, along with Air Methods Corp. and ICSAVE (Integrated Community Solutions to Active Violent Events) recently certified more than 140 of them in Stop the Bleed.
Stop the Bleed, FMMFD EMS coordinator Raymond Proa said, is a national awareness campaign and call to action, intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.
Proa said that in recent school shootings, “sometimes as many as a third of the students could have been saved by simple measures — direct pressure and tourniquets.”
The two-hour class covered topics that included how to apply a tourniquet, direct pressure and wound-packing (placing gauze into a wound to stop the bleeding in cases in which a tourniquet would not be sufficient.
On Thursday, FMMFD personnel dropped off bleeding control kits.
“We want to empower the community,” Proa said. “To basically buy time until the first responders arrive, because the people on the scene are the true first responders — we’re the second and third responders.”
The July 31 training and the distribution of the kits were made possible by the Sunrise Rotary Club of Fort Mohave, Fort Mohave Fire Local 4324, Mehdi Azarmi, John Hassett, and Vass Landscaping, who each contributed part of the $7,000-plus it cost.
Money well spent, if MVESD Supt. Whitney Crow has a say.
“It was probably one of the best-received systemwide trainings we’ve had in a long time,” Crow said. “When the custodians come up to you afterward and thank you for providing the training, you know it was a good workshop.”
Crow said that district staff now feel better prepared for an emergency, and that the training lines up with what the MVESD’s governing board has been reviewing, in terms of campus safety measures.
“Everyone was really impressed with the training,” he said. “It’s one of those trainings that I hope we never have to use, but I think everyone feels more comfortable having had it.”
Desert Star Academy staff already has had the Stop the Bleed training, Proa said, and the school soon will receive its bleeding control kits. The coalition also is working with Young Scholar’s Academy and Topock Elementary School.
Bullhead City and Mohave Valley, he said, are pursuing the initiative separately.
Stop the Bleed is the first-part of three planned efforts to improve safety in the area, Proa said Friday. He said organizers are tentatively looking at January for ALICE training for local schools, including those in Bullhead City. That stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.”
ALICE training would focus on a public building’s response to an emergency such as an active-shooter incident.
The third phase, Proa said, would be a two-day public safety integration event/active-shooter course open to every local law enforcement agency, fire department and hospital in the area, with the goal of bringing together a common response plan.
Proa said that growth in the number of active-shooter incidents was the impetus for the program. He said that 60% of those events occurred in places with populations of 50,000 or lower.