LeFlore County schools will soon receive their “Stop the Bleed” kits after vigorous fundraising efforts by LeFlore County Emergency Medical Services.
LeFlore County EMS raised a little over $10,000 to purchase 249 kits. Each kit includes one permanent marker (to mark time tourniquet is put on), two pairs of gloves, one C-A-T tourniquet, one emergency bandage, one pair of trauma shears, two rolls of compressed gauze dressing and printed inserts to show instructions for use. Kits are vacuum-packed and tamper proof.
Amanda Bandy, EMS paramedic, public relations person and community education professional, who has been with EMS for 11 years, will provide the training to area schools. At the training, EMS will distribute the kits. Each school in LeFlore County will receive the kits, which will be distributed evenly based on campus size.
EMS held a presentation on Friday at their Poteau EMS station to show off the kits to the community, school officials and the media.
EMS Executive Director Jeff Fishel said the kit distributor, Bound Tree Medical, worked with them on cost so that EMS was able to purchase 25 percent more kits. Each kit cost $40.29 each.
“In the state of Oklahoma, we’re the only county who has done this, put these [kits] in every school,” Fishel said.
Craig Bartley, account manager for Oklahoma/Arkansas with Bound Tree, said the kits are vetted through the Department of Justice. Bartley said stopping the bleed can mean the difference between life or death. He said the “Stop the Bleed” program took notes from the military, where loss of blood has accounted to a large number of deaths.
“The whole key is to stop the bleeding because it’s life over limb,” he said.
He said the government also took notice of the “Stop the Bleed” need during mass casualty terrorist attacks, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, where those aiding the wounded made tourniquets from whatever they could find, be it pieces of clothing or belts.
Bandy said these kits are especially important for LeFlore County, where some schools are rurally located, which increases EMS response time.
The kits will be placed in accessible zones for school staff. School officials were suggested to place them in similar locations as AED defibrillators. EMS also has in the past donated many of these lifesaving machines to area schools.
EMS began fundraising for the kits several months ago with grassroots efforts by staging in front of the Poteau Walmart.
In addition to multiple personal donors, donations were received from the Choctaw Nation, T-Wrecks Wrecker Service, AARC Towing, The Community State Bank, Poteau Family Fitness, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Poteau, Riverside Autoplex, Stuteville Dodge, Alexander Insurance, Alexander Fire & Safety and Poteau Women’s League.
About EMS of LeFlore County
EMS of LeFlore County provides 911 and inter-facility transports to over 50,000 residents within 1600 sq. miles. LeFlore County EMS transports to and from 4(four) local hospitals with our closest level 1 or 2 Trauma being over 2 hours away, this is also the closest comprehensive stroke center… We are often called upon by the local hospital to take inter-facility transports up to 6 hours away from our County for specialty care. Sometimes, even a transport to a PCI capable facility is over an hour and a half. In 2017, EMS of LeFlore County responded to over 8,500 calls for service. We operate 6 Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances staffed by highly trained EMT’s and Paramedics, equipped with cutting edge lifesaving equipment and medications. Due to our super rural nature, all Fire Departments are 100% volunteer and typically are unable to respond to medical calls to assist, even in the most critical of nature… For that reason LeFlore County EMS also deploys 2(two) Quick Response Vehicles that are staffed by the Director and Deputy Director for Command presence and additional resources at major events and critical calls. EMS of LeFlore County is a leader in pre-hospital care in Eastern Oklahoma. We are committed to excellence and dedicated to service… LeFlore County EMS has always done more with less, and still stands toe to toe with our counter parts in urban/suburban areas in way of modern delivery of care and quality of service. Currently LeFlore County provides much more than EMS services… We also are very active in public relations, public education, community CPR, AED programs, etc… LeFlore County EMS has units strategically placed throughout our County in 5 different locations, but with the vast land size plus terrain of our County it can take two (2) hours to travel from the north end to the south.