In the wake of school shootings across the nation, many districts have discussed security, increasing police presence and putting guns in the hands of teachers. Now, some are looking at how to care for the wounded if an emergency situation does occur.
Texarkana area school districts are sending representatives to "Stop the Bleed, Save a Life" courses, which teach the basics on controlling bleeding.
Brad Irvin, coordinator with Texas Independent School District's Risk Management Department, said knowing how to stop bleeding is an important tool they can use in the event of an emergency.
"Nobody wants to talk about these things, but we want to be prepared if it was to happen—not just our school, but our community as well," he said. "This training can go into the community as a whole."
Irvin, who is also a certified CPR instructor, will attend the May 1 training at the Texarkana, Texas, Convention Center. He, along with Risk Management Director Georgette Duke, Superintendent Paul Norton and the district nurse and chief operations officer will attend, and together, they will bring the information back to train district employees on how to stop bleeding.
"With everything going on, this is something used not just in school for our staff, but outside, as well, in emergency situations," he said.
"We will work to get our staff trained and equipped in emergency measures to help before professional help can arrive. A person can die from blood loss in five minutes. They will learn how to get it under control before trained medical help can get there."
He said it will tie into the school's safety plan, which is an ever-changing document that is constantly being reviewed and modified. "As Risk Management at TISD, we strive for the best care and education for our students and staff," he said. "Our students and staff are our number one priority. Our concentration is on them. Anything we can do to help them in any type of way safety-wise we are going to implement that."
Representatives from other schools, including Liberty-Eylau ISD, will attend the event, which is sponsored by Texarkana Emergency Center, Wadley Regional Medical Center, LifeNet and CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System. Texarkana, Ark., School District employees will attend a Stop the Bleed course April 25 at the Texarkana, Ark., Convention Center.
District 1 Representative Carol Dalby, who served as a TASD school board member prior to being elected as representative, went through the training and arranged it for other districts in the Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative.
TASD Superintendent Dr. Becky Kesler said having staff trained in emergency procedures will be a benefit to the district.
"The knowledge gained from the Stop the Bleed training will be a vital addition to our current emergency response procedures," Kesler said. "District-wide training for staff will take place over the summer."
The district's nurses will attend the Arkansas School Nurses Association Conference in June and participate in Stop the Bleed training. Lead Nurse Martha Tatum will then determine how district staff will be trained.