Lesson learned: Tourniquets – and training – provided to county first responders

Photos provided to the Times Observer City of Warren police and Warren County Sheriff’s De puties were among the agencies to receive tourniquets as part of a donation and training effort in conjunction with UPMC and the Erie Medical Reserve Corps.

Training for training’s sake is valuable.

Taking lessons learned through that training and making broader improvements? Even better.

A partnership with the Erie Medical Reserve Corps and UPMC have brought new tourniquets for county law enforcement and responders.

“We’ve been doing active intruder drills,” Warren County Public Safety Director Ken McCorrison said. “We started doing rescue task force training, taking responders – fire and EMS – into hot zones. Part of the training is how to apply tourniquets and other hemostatic agents.”

After-action reviews from those exercises highlighted a need.

“We need more people trained up,” McCorrison said.

In response, the Erie Medical Reserve Corps offered a free “Stop the Bleed” instructor class and UPMC agreed to provide tourniquets to all responders who go through the training.

“We have had first responder training,” Sheriff Scott Neiswonger said. “We do touch base on tourniquets and how to apply them. This ‘Stop the Bleed’ is a more advanced course.”

He said that county sheriff’s deputies will be trained and that the training will also be opened to county employees.

“It’s very important information,” Neiswonger said. “Unfortunately nowadays we have to look at what kind of stuff. The more education we have out there for people, the better off they are.”

“In a large-scale event, you don’t have to be a doctor… to stop bleeding,” McCorrison said. “The average person off the street with training could become essentially responders by stopping life-threatening bleeding.”

While the need for training in this space came through training for mass casualty incidents, the practicality of the training could pay life-saving dividends in other contexts.

“Lives have been saved by tourniquets,” Neiswonger said. “It is very valuable to have the knowledge to actually apply that. They do save lives…. I keep one in my truck.”

McCorrison said that the rescue task force training will continue to be offered because

For fire and EMS personnel “It goes against everything they’re taught in class, don’t put yourself in harm’s way,” McCorrison said.

“The more education we have with this kind of stuff, the better off we all are,” Neiswonger added, especially when tourniquets “can be applied to any kind of emergency.”


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