Through a grant from the county Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Montgomery County Public Schools is working to put “Stop the Bleed” kits in each of its 208 schools.
The kits, paired with a roughly 90-minute training session, will provide each school’s staff with the necessary skills and equipment to stop bleeding from a traumatic injury after a school shooting or an accident.
“We’re going through all the schools now and assessing where to put the kits, then we’ll train staff and build out from there,” MCPS Chief Operating Officer Andy Zuckerman said. He said security staff members and nurses will be the first to receive training about how to use the kits.
The “Stop the Bleed” campaign was started by a federal interagency work group convened by White House officials. The purpose of the campaign is to educate the public about how to “save lives by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters,” according to the organization’s website.
Training focuses on how to stop bleeding from a traumatic injury by teaching participants how to apply direct pressure, pack a wound and use a tourniquet.
At least 30 shootings have happened nationwide on school grounds in 2019 resulting in death or injuries, according to a recent report from USA Today. On Nov. 14, at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., a student shot five classmates, killing two. The student died by suicide before he was apprehended, according to media reports.
At least one wounded student received first aid using a Stop the Bleed kit during the shooting, according to Education Week.
“Every single time that news report comes on, I first get sick to my stomach, and then think I have to quit my job,” MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith said during a school board meeting this week, referring to school shootings. “It’s not about me. It’s just how I react.”
MCPS has had several unfounded shooting and bomb threats in recent years.
During the 2017-18 school year, the most recent data available, there were three bomb threats reported at county schools and 130 “physical or verbal threats.”