FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — What would you do if your colleagues were wounded in an attack and the paramedics hadn’t arrived yet?
It’s a question that local authorities want you to really think about these days.
"We don’t want you to confront the shooter, we don’t want you to try and take on someone with a gun or a knife or whatever it is, we want you to get away as quickly as you can and save your life," Don Watson says.
Watson of Indiana’s Department of Homeland Security says the first rule of surviving an attack is to run.
If escape is not an option, hide.
But while you hide, start thinking about the last resort: fight.
"You need to be looking around. There’s a lot of things in this room, there’s music stands, there’s speaker stands, there’s flags, there’s books. There’s a lot of things in this room, there’s a fire extinguisher. There’s a lot of things in this room that could be used as a weapon," he says.
The Allen County health department began planning hands-on training in February after a devastating Florida school shooting to teach people what to do to save the injured before paramedics can get there.
The most basic treatment — apply pressure to a wound.
The next level of treatment for a wound is to take whatever you can and stuff it in the wound.You pack the wound as much as you can with whatever you have, a finger, a t-shirt, anything. You put pressure on the wound and you keep it there until the paramedics can safely get there. What you do could save your colleague’s life.
"Don’t worry that my hands are dirty or my t shirt’s dirty, don’t worry about that. because as soon as they’re taken to the hospital that issue will be addressed. What you want to do is keep them from bleeding out. So stop the bleed," says Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Deborah McMahan.
Pressure and packing a wound don’t stop the bleeding, you’ll need to apply a tourniquet, which can be left on for hours.
"For the tourniquet placement, or if you’re going to use improvised, belt or whatever, you’re going to go above that wound as high as possible and you’re going to apply that rather tight," says Michelle Stimpson from Lutheran Trauma Services.
Dr. McMahan says this is our society’s new normal, and we should all be as prepared as we can.
"The events of yesterday highlighted again this can happen anywhere to anyone. And every business, I think, really needs to take it upon themselves to be prepared to protect their staff, and to mitigate the damage to anybody," she says.
The Poe fire department on East Yoder Road will host free Stop the Bleed training to anyone interested on July 15th.
Contact the department for more information at (260) 639-3992.
You can also call Parkview or Lutheran trauma services to set up training at your workplace.