Gun control is a topic swirling in the hearts and minds of many Americans today. Will restricting the use of firearms help lower the amount of mass shootings? Or will it enable the shooters who procure illegal firearms to meet less resistance? One thing most everyone can agree on: these situations are always going to be a possibility, one way or another. When that happens, an increase in medical training for the average person would severely reduce the loss of life.
Former Army Ranger medic Jessie Milaski has worked as a paramedic for the past four years. “Mass shootings are always going to be a threat,” he says, “but accidents happen too. Someone falls in the shower right through a glass door, you could have a life threatening bleed on your hands. You can’t prevent everything.”
He stresses the importance of medical preparedness in the context of trauma. CPR is mandatory in a lot of high schools around the country, it would make sense to initiate similar programs in regards to gunshot wounds and similar injuries. If children are taught to apply tourniquets, pack wounds and assess their handiwork, they would become an asset to emergency personnel should a life threatening incident occur.
In 2015, the White House started the Stop the Bleed campaign. It is an effort to educate and train bystanders to effectively control bleeding and potentially save a life, teaching skills like tourniquet use and packing wounds. They also cover basic positioning and airway management–all skills “that you can realistically treat.”