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Pilot program teaching school staff, students to use tourniquets in case of mass casualty incident

Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 03, 2017

CINCINNATI -- Walking down the halls of Western Hills High School, it's hard to miss the white box adorned with a mustang logo and holding a defibrillator inside.

There are also six tourniquet kits inside, to stop bleeding in the case of a mass casualty incident. 

It's part of a pilot project with 37 tourniquet kits in the building, according to Assistant Fire Chief Tom Lakamp. The department has trained staff at the high school and placed "Stop The Bleed" kits at all the school's AED locations.

"While that may put the limb in danger over a longer period of time, you have to save a life to save a limb," Lakamp said.

The need for kits like these has been amplified by the massacre at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. 

"It's scary because it can happen anywhere," Dr. Kenneth Davis Jr. said. 

Davis teaches surgery at the University of Cincinnati. He said the "Stop The Bleed" program's goal is for someone to help the injured before first responders arrive in an incident like that shooting. 

"That could take 30 or 40 minutes," he said. "So, if somebody's trained and they can do that right there at the scene, that could save lives."

Lauren Stenger of UC Health has helped train more than 800 people on how to use tourniquets. All Cincinnati paramedics have been trained and all firefighters will soon take the course. 

The goal at Western Hills High is eventually to train the entire student body, according to Lakamp.