Courses teach community members to save lives until EMS arrives
Although spring’s warmer weather was felt during February’s record-breaking 12 days above 80 degrees, March and April are the months when most people keep an eye to the sky and severe weather season kicks into full gear. It’s also the time when families should review their disaster preparedness plans so they are ready when Mother Nature unleashes her fury.
Planning, said Chris Noah, MS, CHSP, Parkland Health & Hospital System’s Director of Disaster Management, is key to staying safe.
“Make a family emergency communication plan and include your pets,” Noah said. “Identify an out-of-town emergency contact to coordinate information with family and friends, and be sure to check on your neighbors.”
Noah stressed the importance of downloading weather apps, setting up alerts and listening to local officials by radio, TV or social media and taking action when instructed to do so. Using common sense during severe weather outbreaks can also help you and your loved ones stay safe.
“How many times do you see something on social media where people are outside taking photos – including selfies – with tornadoes or lightning in the area,” Noah said. “That is the wrong thing to be doing. Your safety and that of those around you is more important than getting a photo of a tornado that is barreling down on you. That’s when you should be seeking shelter, not taking pictures – leave that to the professional storm chasers.”
Since severe weather can strike at any time of the day or night, Noah said it’s important to keep an emergency kit wherever you spend time: home, car, work, etc. He also recommends taking a first aid class or enrolling in Parkland’s Stop the Bleed class so you can help until first responders arrive.
Parkland’s Stop the Bleed classes are from a White House Directive which mandates that the public receive training to assist individuals who have been injured. The Stop the Bleeding Courses were adapted from courses including the U.S. Military’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care Guidelines and the Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS). The White House Directive created the effort to make “Stop the Bleed” training the CPR of the 21st century.
“The course is designed for the general public with a focus on controlling bleeding,” said Jorie Klein, RN, Director of Trauma Services in the Rees-Jones Trauma Center at Parkland. “This training is important because events such as home injuries, work injuries, motor-vehicle trauma or severe weather such as a tornado can happen to anyone. Knowing what to do for someone with a serious injury during those precious few minutes before help arrives can save a life.”
Controlling a victim’s bleeding centers on four primary principles: ensuring your own safety and notifying 911, identifying the injury, stopping the bleeding and keeping the victim warm. It’s paramount, Klein said, to make sure you are safe so that you can offer assistance to another.
“In times like these, panic will quickly set in, especially if you are separated from your loved ones and someone may be injured,” Noah said. “But if you’ve prepared, practiced and everyone, young and old, knows what to do during a potentially destructive storm, your chance of surviving will increase.”
For more information about Parkland’s “Stop the Bleed” classes or to request a class be taught at your office, school or agency, contact Jorie Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about Parkland services, please visit www.parklandhospital.com.