Student-run EMS trains hundreds on campus on how to control bleeding in an emergency

Editor’s Note: As of June 30, 2019, Case Western Reserve uses Rave Guardian. CWRU Shield is no longer active and should be deleted from all mobile devices. Download Rave Guardian on the App Store and Google Play.

It only takes minutes for someone to die from blood loss. In some instances, that’s well before emergency medical personnel can arrive at the scene to render aid.

To prevent such unnecessary deaths, the Case Western Reserve University Division of Public Safety and CWRU EMS are working together to help the community “Stop the Bleed.”

A campaign launched by the federal government, Stop the Bleed empowers bystanders to provide aid in the event of an emergency, similar to initiatives to train individuals to perform CPR and first aid.

The campaign instructs individuals on how to apply a tourniquet and pack wounds to control bleeding. Through these methods, bystanders can give a victim crucial time for EMS can arrive.

“As fast as EMS will be in responding to an emergency—we will bring the cavalry, we will get there with all the bells and whistles and equipment—we can’t do it alone, and we need someone on the other side who’s already there to give them more time,” said James Sobieski, a rising junior and training director of CWRU EMS.

Over the past few months, CWRU EMS has trained about 250 members of the university community through Stop the Bleed.

To bolster those efforts, the university recently purchased Stop the Bleed kits, which include a basic tourniquet and packing and chest wound materials.

These public access kits, which have enough supplies to save one or two lives each, have been co-located with AED kits across campus and placed in CWRU police vehicles. The kits and AEDs are mapped in the CWRU Shield app.

But the CWRU EMS training doesn’t rely on the kits to teach individuals how to control bleeding. While the course does cover how to use the materials in them, it also teaches individuals what to do if one isn’t readily available.

During the class, which takes about 30 to 60 minutes, trainees get hands-on experience by repeating the processes several times to build muscle memory.

“Even if you freak out—which, understandably, people do—you still have that engrained in you,” Sobieski said.

Whether on campus or at home, Stop the Bleed training can help an individual make those around them safer.

“It’s scary and terrifying, but at the end of the day, you’re going to be the reason someone gets to go home to their kids or to wake up the next morning,” Sobieski said.

To participate in an upcoming Stop the Bleed training opportunity with CWRU EMS, email cwruems-training@case.edu.