“Stop the Bleed” Training to be Held on February 9th

Grace Allen
Issue Date: 
February, 2019
Article Body: 

A person can die from blood loss in less than five minutes, which is why Norfolk’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is offering a free tourniquet class to equip bystanders with the skills to save a life.
“Stop the Bleed” training will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 10 a.m. to noon at Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. The class will be taught by nurses and other certified instructors, and is presented by the Framingham MRC and the Massachusetts Public Health Nurses Association. The class is open to everyone but registration is required.
A national initiative, “Stop the Bleed” encourages people to become trained and prepared to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The federal safety campaign, officially launched in 2015, was developed by the American College of Surgeons in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security in response to mass-casualty incidents across the country.
The training is based on military-grade hemorrhage-control techniques and teaches how to apply tourniquets, pack wounds, and stop bleeding.
Fran Sullivan is on the Norfolk Board of Health and is also part of the town’s MRC. She says “Stop the Bleed” training is applicable for any trauma situation involving loss of blood, including car accidents or injuries sustained at home or at work. She stressed, however, that the campaign, which is sweeping the country, is meant to empower people to react confidently during a large-scale emergency.
“During the Boston Marathon bombings, and the Parkland and Newtown school shootings, for example, people had to respond quickly,” Sullivan said. “Unfortunately, that’s the reality of life today.”
Norfolk’s Medical Reserve Corps was reactivated in September of 2017, soon after Sullivan was elected to the Board of Health. Sullivan made it a priority to restart the MRC organization in town, which had last been active in 2008.
The MRC is a volunteer group of medical and non-medical residents trained to assist emergency response teams during natural or man-made disasters, or medical emergencies like pandemic flu. Norfolk’s MRC is part of the Medical Reserve Corps of Massachusetts, which falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The Medical Reserve Corps was established after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Norfolk group currently has close to 50 members. In the past year and a half, the MRC has sponsored CPR and First Aid training, assisted at the Norfolk flu clinics, and provided emergency preparedness information to residents at various town events.
The group is working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to develop a town-wide emergency dispensing site plan.
“If there were ever a flu pandemic or a terrorist anthrax event where people needed vaccinations, then we’d have a system in place with locations and players to accommodate the 10,000 or so residents that live in this town,” explained Sullivan.
The MRC, which meets monthly, is looking to grow its ranks, said Sullivan, who acknowledged the difficulty in the past of keeping people interested and involved.
“It’s a hard thing when you are planning for scenarios that you hope never happen,” she said. “But you hope if something does happen, planning and training will help things run smoothly and efficiently.”
Register for the “Stop the Bleed” class through the link on the group’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MRCNorfolkMA/), or visit www.eventbrite.com and search for “Stop the Bleed” in Norfolk, MA.
Contact Betsy Fijol (Norfolk Board of Health) at 508-528-7747 for more information or with any questions.