WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Three minutes, 180 seconds, the length of your favorite song, or the time it takes to make your bed.
It’s also how fast a person can bleed out.
“You never know where it’s going to happen. It can happen anywhere at any time,” Wichita Falls PD Officer Jeff Hughes said. “The average response time for law enforcement and first responders throughout some of the active shooter events that have happened in the United States since Columbine, it’s been about three minutes.”
That means by the time first responders arrive, it could be too late. Unless you know how to stop the bleeding.
“If somebody is already there on the scene that knows what to do and can become what’s called an urgent responder, then they can actually start that process prior to the first responders getting there and that person could already begin giving treatment. Whether it be pressurizing a wound or packing a wound, or placing a tourniquet on that wound to stop that bleeding,” Hughes said.
These are the things taught in the Stop the Bleed program, a program United Regional’s Laura Pressler is proud to lead.
“Since the training in 2017, I have probably trained over 5,000 people in stop the bleed, but when it happened to me personally and it was a family member that was injured two years ago and had a life-threatening injury, then I realized that everyone needs to know this training and have this training to be able to stop bleeding because you never know when it’s going to happen to you,” Pressler said.
“It’s quick, it’s easy but it can save a life and it also can save even their life because they could actually do the first aid on themselves as well,” Hughes said.
Hughes says one of the most important things in these unimaginable situations is to remain calm.
“If you’re in a stressful situation your brain tries to do some strange things, it tries to put you in different scenarios. A lot of times people will hear gunshots and think that it’s fireworks or balloons popping or even one of the girls that was a victim at Virginia Tech. She said she thought the gunfire was somebody chopping wood so your brain will actually do some crazy things, put you in a state of denial if you will,” Hughes said. “If you get stuck in denial, the very next thing, it goes from denial to fear and once fear takes over, there’s not a whole lot that you can do.”
Stop the Bleed makes sure no matter the time or the place, lives can be saved through knowledge and preparation.
“In case it’s a loved one or it could be a perfect stranger, but they’re prepared in case they are in a situation where someone’s having active bleeding,” Pressler said. “Finding ways to determine what is life-threatening bleeding and three ways to stop it with pressure, packing and a tourniquet.”
Simple skills to save lives in serious situations.
May is Stop the Bleed Month and May 19 is Stop the Bleed Day to train the most people possible across the world.
United Regional, in conjunction with the Wichita Falls Police Department, MSU, and other area first responders, is holding a training course on May 19 at 6 p.m. at Sikes Lake Center. The class is free and only takes about an hour and no R.S.V.P. is required.