Preston school staffers learn emergency bleeding control techniques
Preston — Preston firefighters and the head of a medical training firm recently spent four hours training about 65 Preston school officials for something they all hope is never needed.
The Preston City Volunteer Fire Department obtained a $1,000 grant from Jewett City Savings Bank matched equally with contributions from local organizations to purchase two bleeding control kits — called B-Con kits — for each school and individual kits for each classroom. The kits contain supplies of gauze, tourniquets and bleed-stop products and gloves.
A four-hour training session conducted by Mark Greczkowski, owner of the medical training firm G-Tact LLC, and four members of the Preston City Fire Department was held earlier this month, which is designated as Bleeding Control Awareness Month.
Preston City Deputy Fire Chief Jarred Harris said the program was a continuation of the partnership town fire departments have fostered with the two schools. About five years ago, the department obtained a grant to purchase CPR mannequins and held training sessions in the two schools for teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, bus drivers and school staff.
The CPR class is now conducted annually in June as part of professional development, Harris said.
Preston Superintendent Roy Seitsinger said he incorporated health training into staff professional development last year, and that includes CPR, the bleeding control class and a new youth mental health class. Eventually, all staff will take the training, and the cycles will repeat every two years or so, he said. He missed the May 9 bleed control class and plans to take it with other staff who had scheduling conflicts.
“It’s going to be everybody, myself included,” Seitsinger said.
With May designated as Bleeding Control Awareness month, Harris said he thought the schools could be better prepared for accidents and emergencies. He initially sought a $2,000 grant from Jewett City Savings Bank to cover the cost of the kits and training, and when the bank awarded $1,000, he received matching funds from Preston Emergency Service, Preston City Fire Department, parent–teacher organizations at both Preston Veterans’ Memorial School and Preston Plains Middle School and from G-Tact LLC.
About 65 participants at the two schools completed the National Certification for Bleeding Control class, which teaches how to properly recognize and use the appropriate equipment to handle life-threatening bleeding emergencies. The B-Con class was created by the American College of Surgeons and is nationally recognized for the Stop the Bleed initiative, Harris said.
Harris said immediate bleeding control can greatly increase the chances of survival, the difference between life and death, while emergency crews are en route.
Seitsinger said staff who took the class gave very positive feedback about the program and trainer Greczkowski.
“People thought he was excellent,” Seitsinger said, “very, very positive and informative.”
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