Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Owing to the rise in cases of emergency events like active shooter situations, mass casualty catastrophes, motor vehicle crashes and more, the awareness on how to stop bleeding to save lives has also been on the rise. Schools are not excluded from such emergency events as active shooter situations have continued to reoccur, bringing to the front-burner the need to ensure that students and teachers alike are safe.
Keeping students, teachers and other members of the staff safe includes both preventative measures and medical response to emergencies in schools that could lead to traumatic loss of blood.
How to prevent emergencies in schools
To bring the numbers of shooting incidents in schools to the barest minimum, there are a few things that can be done to ensure security in our schools and decrease the likelihood of a shooting. Here is a brief overview of steps that can be implemented.
1. Responding preemptively
One of the first things that can be done to stop school violence is to establish an environment that provides solid psychological security. Developing psychological first aid involves putting in place a variety processes that can serve as a preventative measure for psychological trauma.
Examples of things that can be done include reaching out to students and using them as an informational resource, with their responses being analyzed and implemented. Also, it helps to involve students in the process to give a sense of inclusion and to build trust.
2. Control access to the school
The second step is to limit access to the school. In most instances where emergency situations happened, people who didn't belong in the school or with prohibited items had access to the school. Thus, to prevent an active shooter incident, schools must proactively see to it that unauthorized persons don't gain access to the school.
Also, limited points of entry into the school is vital to keep the school safe. The entrance and exit points into the school must be clearly defined as this will help monitor how people enter the building. Only when this is done will it be possible to deny strangers entrance to the school and this will in turn decrease the risks of emergencies.
3. Hardening the classroom
Yet another strategy to keep schools safe is to secure the classrooms, which are usually the foremost places students hide in an active shooter situation. Changes should be made to different aspects of the classroom to ensure security including making the doors lockable from the inside, blocking the outside view through the window and so on.
Additionally, efforts must be made to provide improvised weapons in the event that students, as a last resort, may need to attack the intruder.
4. On-site incident response
Every school must have an on-site response capability to confront and stop an active shooter. Most active shooter situations are done within 3-6 minutes, which means law enforcement agencies must be able to respond quickly to such threats in good time.
It's up to each school to determine how they can achieve such a fast response but options typically include: having dedicated police assets on campus and hiring private security personnel among others. The idea is to have the right people that are well trained in the vicinity of every school.
How to handle emergencies in schools
While the above strategies are geared towards preventing the likelihood of emergencies, schools must also be prepared on how to contain the outcome of such emergencies like active shooter, terrorism and mass casualty incidents.
When such scenarios happen, there is the need to provide first aid before the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). In the absence of first aid before arrival of emergency responders, a person can bleed to death within minutes.
It's important to provide schools with the tools they nerd to control hemorrhage and save lives in the immediate aftermath of acts of terrorism and other mass casualty events. Because the window of opportunity to save a life by controlling bleeding is 5 minutes, immediate access to life-saving products is critical.
Items in a basic stop the bleed kit include:
· Chest seals
· Compressed gauze
· Trauma bandages etc.
While it's essential to work against the occurrence of mass shootings in our schools, it's also important to plan towards saving the lives of those who might be casualties. With stop the bleed kits, students, teachers and nurses nearest to someone in the school with life-threatening injuries will be able to provide immediate care with a view towards stopping the flow of blood.