By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
The Logandale Fire Station #73 classroom area was filled to capacity last Saturday as about two dozen community members attended the first “Stop the Bleed” class sponsored by Station 73, the BLM, and Mercy Air. The class was organized by volunteer firefighter Tim DeBerardinis.
“Stop the Bleed” is a national outreach and advocacy program focusing on teaching the general public the basic first aid skills needed for severe bleeding incidents. DeBerardinis took the teacher’s course and brought his knowledge back to Logandale to share, free of charge, with his community.
DeBerardinis stressed that bystanders in a severe bleeding incident can literally save a life. “Bystanders are first responders,” he said. “They are the ones that can save lives by acting. If nothing is done in severe bleeding instances, by the time emergency personnel arrives it can be too late.”
The two-hour class was broken into two parts. Classroom instruction and was given in the first half. The presentation covered the ABC’s of severe bleeding: Be Alert-notify 911, Bleeding-identify where the injury is, and Compression-put direct pressure on the wound or use an Israeli bandage or tourniquet.
The second half of the class was putting the information into practice. Staff members from the BLM, Mercy Air, and fellow Station 73 volunteers assisted in teaching three different break-out sessions for attendees.
David Heineken from Mercy Air taught a class on how to stuff wounds and apply direct pressure to control bleeding. He had practice equipment that simulated different kinds of severe bleeding injuries. He gave tips on how to use items bystanders may have on hand that can help stop bleeding in severe cut instances and gunshot wound instances, as well as how to apply direct pressure to the wound.
Deon Jackson taught the second session on how to apply a direct pressure emergency bandage, often called an Israeli bandage. Israeli bandages have proven so effective in stopping bleeding that they have become the bandage of choice for the military and emergency personnel. Jackson showed her class members how to apply them successfully to various body parts. The bandages are readily available online and Jackson encouraged class members to keep them on hand in their car and in their homes.
Neel taught about the use of tourniquets. For many years, tourniquets were thought to do more harm than good, Neel said. But medical advances and discoveries have shown that is no longer the case.
Neel demonstrated how and where to apply a tourniquet as well as what types of on-hand household items can be used as a tourniquet in case of emergency, such as a bandanas or belts.
The class got rave reviews from those that attended. The subject matter taught hit close to home for many participants.
“I knew many people that the events at Route 91 affected so it became personal to me as well,” said attendee Dawn Govelovich. “I decided that I needed to be more prepared in case I ever found myself in a situation where I could make a difference.”
DeBerardinis was pleased with how the class went. He told class members, “We are thankful for those that came to teach today, those that organized the event behind the scenes, and especially those of you who came to learn. Thanks for your interest in making the world a better place.”