Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

Posted

I’m not exactly proud of this but I’ve become a little numb to the school shootings and mail bombs. My boyfriend won’t let me open an Amazon package unattended, and that actually makes me laugh. I’ve teased him for being paranoid, and he does not think it’s cute at all to joke about such a serious matter.

I agree that domestic terrorism is a real thing and these package bombs and school shootings are scary. People are dying.

But what’s the solution? Arming teachers might help in some cases, and it might cause unnecessary deaths in others. Checking people’s bags and pockets at sporting events and airports might help, but it also causes a lot of unnecessary delays and inconveniences. Homeschooling your kids might protect them from bullying but accidents and random acts of violence can happen anywhere, even in your own home.

There’s not really a catch-all here that’s going to solve all our problems. If there was such a thing, we would have already implemented it. It’s pretty crazy that we’re even having to start this dialogue.

Maybe it’s just a baby step, but we do have the power to arm ourselves with intelligence.

Austin County EMS is training the community with a program called “Stop the Bleed.” They need donations to fund kits that are being provided to schools, law enforcement agencies, fire departments and other public entities.

According to their news release, “Uncontrolled bleeding is the No. 1 cause of preventable death from trauma. A person with a life-threatening injury from a car crash or a gunshot wound can bleed to death in three minutes. On average, it takes five to eight minutes for fire/police/EMS to arrive on a 911 call.

Serious bleeding from an extremity is the most frequent cause of preventable death from an injury. Life-threatening bleeding warrants immediate interventions, and in most cases the person who can provide that immediate care is not a trained healthcare provider or first responder.”

Most of us know how to call 911 or speak calmly to someone who is bleeding, but do we know how to apply a tourniquet? I took a CPR class about 20 years ago; I’m not even sure I could do that properly without someone talking me through it.

We all love to be armchair detectives and Monday-morning quarterbacks to diagnose what should have been done differently. Why don’t we take action by learning how to help others in a crisis?

Many schools, businesses and governmental entities are now holding mandatory “active shooter training.” Do you know the closest exit in your building? Do you have a designated person to call 911? Is there a protocol if a disgruntled former employee storms through the front door with a machine gun? There should be.

Again, it feels a little silly to be talking about these things, but they are happening. We’ve got to get informed and have those uncomfortable conversations with our family members and co-workers.

For more information on Stop the Bleed training, contact Austin County EMS Capt. Lori Gaines at lori.gaines@austincounty.com.

“Our goal is to raise 400 trauma tourniquets and 100 complete trauma and bleeding control kits,” Gaines said. “These trauma kits and tourniquets will be placed in the schools and other public entities as well as given out to first responding organizations within the county.”

The public can support the mission by visiting https://ampyourgood.com/user/campaigns/3113.

April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at editor@sealynews.com.

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