Quaker Valley, Sewickley Academy trained to ‘Stop the Bleed’

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 | 6:00 AM


While most school days are routine, emergencies — such as a student cutting their finger in a cooking class, or a custodian being injured by a lawnmower — sometimes occur.

Staff across the Quaker Valley School District now know how to react and have the right tools for such an incident.

Earlier this year, the school district received a $20,000 Act 44 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency that allowed for the installation of 15 public-access stations that contain bleeding-control kits, complete with tourniquets, pressure bandages and compressed gauze dressings. Emergency supplies also were placed in every classroom in the district.

“I just hope it empowers everybody here to make a difference during these life-threatening emergencies to realize they can do something,” school police Officer Aaron Vanatta said.

The White House launched the Stop the Bleed program, which encourages bystanders to get trained and equipped to help someone who is bleeding.

“It only takes less than five minutes to bleed to death,” Vanatta said.

That can happen as a result of a vehicular accident or a slip of a power tool or a person falling.

“Anything we do in our daily lives,” Vanatta said.

Quaker Valley leaders decided to bring the Stop the Bleed program to the district in an effort to train staffers to help should someone need it, Vanatta said.

In April 2017, the district launched its first training for staff under the direction of a parent and trauma surgeon at UPMC, which took the lead in the area for the Stop the Bleed program. Valley Ambulance also has assisted in training.

The district received five kits at the time, each containing three sets of bleeding control materials. That was enough to place one kit in each school where the Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are stored.

“We saw that we needed a lot more,” said Vanatta, who added that time is of the essence in these situations.

Because of the grant, there now are five kits that can be accessed by the public at the high school. They’re strategically located by the food and consumer science classroom and stadium, where staff and students can quickly get to them.

Another five are at the middle school. Each elementary has two and the district offices have one.

Each kit contains eight sets of bleeding-control materials. Each classroom also has at least one set of materials that was placed in Go Buckets, which include other emergency supplies.

In the last two years, about 160 staffers have been trained to stop bleeding, with training planned for the remaining staff.

“You never know which one of these events is going to happen, and you need to know this,” Vanatta said.

At Sewickley Academy, recent graduate James Mohan was “instrumental in bringing the ‘Stop the Bleed’ program” to the school, school nurse Beth Brown said in an email.

Mohan serves as a volunteer firefighter at Cochran Hose Company and was trained on the program by Valley Ambulance Authority, Brown said. It was through speaking with him and researching the program that Sewickley Academy decided bringing the Stop the Bleed program to their school was imperative.

The kits are located in several areas on campus, as well as in the health and wellness suite. All faculty and staff can attend first aid training, including bleeding control, during the year.

“Our goal is to provide our community with as many resources as possible to be prepared for an incident or emergency,” Brown said.