Major Incidents, Trauma

Texas Response Agencies Implement Stop the Bleed Initiative

Issue 40 and Volume 41.

Comal County, Texas, organizations Bulverde Spring Branch Fire and EMS, Canyon Lake Fire and EMS, and New Braunfels Fire and EMS, recently joined together with Comal Independent School District (CISD) to implement the national Stop the Bleed program, a White House-initiated campaign to empower bystanders to act quickly and save lives in an emergency.

The school district purchased and deployed over 600 combat application tourniquets (CATs) as an initiative to preserve life during an active shooter or other incident. The three Comal County Fire & EMS departments and the Centre for Emergency Health Sciences joined forces to develop a concise, easy-to-understand training program that was rolled out by campus professionals with a brief train-the-trainer orientation. School nurses, faculty and district support staff, led by CISD Director of Safety and Security David Springer, covered 22,000 children in 28 K–12 public schools.

Program costs outside of the tourniquet purchases were minimal and instructional fees were absorbed by on-duty personnel in a PR format. The program is now an ongoing county-wide cooperative effort between the Comal schools and county emergency assets.

Efforts with this program included a cadaver-based skills course for all nurses as well as the delivery of the short program for training and dissemination (which is modifiable and available to an organization free of charge). Of special note, North American Rescue—makers of the CAT—were instrumental in making the program a reality by demonstrating a very tangible confluence between the corporate world and lifesaving community goals. In addition to preferred CAT pricing, North American Rescue donated state-of-the-art public access Stop the Bleed stations for two schools.

Comal County’s Stop the Bleed effort was recently recognized by the Special Operations Medical Association. Present for the recognition was Frank Butler, JD, MD, FAAO, FUHM, scientific advisor and national proponent of this initiative. Butler is chairman of the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Department of Defense Joint Trauma Systems.

America is a nation of people who respond to others in need. It’s no longer sufficient to “see something, say something.” From this point forward we must now “see something, do something”—words squarely on the cover of the Hartford Consensus.