This month we’ll take a little detour with an issue that is becoming more important, with less interest…
The human species has been able to survive, thrive and prosper because we have come together in communities supporting a broader society. We watch each other’s back, we support both individual and communal projects that are in the best interest of the community and society and we prosper because of this collaboration.
Today the community, and society is at risk; which puts us individually at risk.
There are a greater number of members of the community today that are ignoring the basic tenant of humanity. Ignoring the establish rules and laws of the community, and looking the other way when someone else ignores those rules. Rules that are in place to allow millions of people to live together in harmony. And such actions crack the foundation of society impacting the sanctity of the community and our individual lifestyles.
It is our responsibility to protect ourselves. It is our responsibility to look after our neighbor. It is our responsibility to respond – and we must KNOW how to respond.
Each year millions of people are involved in a medical trauma or a violent act. We have come to expect that handling the victims of those events is someone else’s responsibility – after all that is why we establish police departments, fire departments and para-medics! They are the FIRST responders. But who saw the event? Who called for help? Who witnessed the event?
We are going to coin a new phrase – the Witness Responder. The Witness Responder is the responsible person that sees the event unfold, pauses from their own course of action and ‘steps up’ to care for the injured victim of our community.
Why do we need the Witness Responder? We have over a third of a billion people in this country and we have only a fraction of the number of first responders – police, fire and medical personnel needed to respond to every event in a timely manner; and the ones we have are on average eight minutes away.
It takes 3 minutes for a person to bleed out with an arterial sever. In 10 minutes a cardiac arrest victim is likely brain dead. An act of violence can be over in less than 2 minutes. If it takes a first responder 8 minutes to arrive on scene; time has been wasted; especially considering that a Witness Responder that can react in less than 30 seconds.
So. The Witness Responder. Who is this person? It should be everyone; but it’s not.
When only half the population is willing to administer CPR in the event of a Cardiac Arrest, it’s apparent, it’s not everyone.
Are you a witness responder? You carry a concealed fire arm to protect yourself; would you protect an innocent bystander? What if the event has already unfolded and you come upon a victim; could you (would you) administer CPR? Would you know how to (and would you) address an arterial laceration that resulted from a car accident?
Consider that on Saturday of this past weekend – March 31st; The American College of Surgeons and the Committee on Trauma promoted a Stop the Bleed Campaign day. A day to recognize the issue and promote an educational platform to teach the average person how to save a life. With the theme that a trained Witness Responder can potentially prevent someone from bleeding out and possibly save a life.
In light of that campaign, let’s begin our conversation on the training needed and the actions required of the Witness Responder with “Stop the Bleed”. And considering the amount of vehicle accidents and violent events of late; this is a skill that we all should know.
For anyone that has had a first aid class, this course is just a little more complete. And from personal experience it will dispel myths promoted from the past and portrayed by the entertainment industry.
STOP THE BLEED. Step 1: Call 9-1-1. Step 2: Find the source of the bleeding injury. Step 3: Apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
With increasing severity: cover the wound with a clean cloth and apply pressure; apply a tourniquet to a limb; pack the wound with gauze or clean cloth and apply pressure.
Application, use and expectations can be learned in a Stop the Bleed class, and you will gain practical experience in addressing the more severe injuries.
Learn more at www.bleedingcontrol.org and watch for a class to be held at Saddle River Range.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe,
Copyright 2018 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch
All rights reserved