(Picture on the left: Marisa Salasky tightens a tourniquet on Corrie Herron.)
Article Courtesy of the Greenfield Daily Reporter
Rebekah Tilley tightened a long, stretchy tourniquet around the upper arm of Laurie Gwaltney.
Gwaltney grimaced, and around her, others exclaimed as they experienced the discomfort of having a tourniquet effectively placed on themselves.
Tilley and Gwaltney, science teachers at Mt. Vernon Middle School, joined teachers and staff from Mt. Vernon middle and high schools to learn tactical medical care — like how to put a tourniquet on someone with a broken or severed artery — and experience active shooter training in the halls of the high school.
Crisis Training and Consulting led the practical training session held this week during Mt. Vernon’s first e-learning day, meaning there were no students in the halls and classrooms as teachers learned how to react to a crisis situation like a mass shooting.
Derek Shelton, Mt. Vernon schools director of operations, said safety training like the four-hour session on Wednesday is just like holding a fire drill or earthquake drill — a preventive measure to ensure staffers are ready.
“In today’s society, we have to be prepared for anything,” he said. “We’re hoping to give teachers this experience, so if something does happen, this will help them better react and provide more safety for students and staff.”
Chris Smedley, Mt. Vernon Community School Corp. CFO and interim co-superintendent, said he believed the training session would be the most impactful way for staffers to be prepared. The session included lessons on emergency casualty care, chest seal and tourniquet application, treatment for shock, carries and drags and an active shooter simulation, led by the law enforcement and military personnel comprising CTC.
The Madison County-based crisis consulting firm is dedicated to providing education to prevent death in an active threat situation, said CTC president Tom Everett.
During the training, Everett told the teachers gathered in the high school auditorium he prays none of the teachers he’s training will ever have to use the skills they learned that day. However, they have to think and prepare for the unthinkable, he said.
Providing tactical medical care in the midst of an emergency situation is much different than, for example, practicing CPR on a dummy, Everett said.
“If we don’t train, we won’t be able to perform in a time of crisis,” he said. “When time is life, everything changes.”
He elaborated, saying an injured person is not going to be happy when someone is placing a tourniquet on them, because it hurts. The teachers had a first-hand look at just how uncomfortable it is, practicing with two different types of tourniquets.
“It’s very painful,” Gwaltney said. “It’s very tight; I could feel my fingers going numb.”
CTC provided every teacher present with one type of tourniquet to keep. Everett recommended it over other types because it can also be used as a sling and a pressure bandage, he said.
Travis Daugherty, a high school English teacher, said he’s proud of Mt. Vernon schools for providing the training to its educators.
“The more we train, the more our teachers will feel equipped and empowered to do our jobs, including this one,” he said.
Elementary school teachers will undergo the same training session in January, according to a news release.
By GDR Rorye Hatcher