After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed and 546 were injured, national debates were sparked off, mostly regarding gun control. The same thing happened after subsequent shootings, like the ones in Sutherland Springs or Rancho Tehama Reserve. There always seems to be a knee-jerk reaction, but nothing much really happens in the long run.
The same could be said in regards to preparing for such incidents to happen. Programs like Stop the Bleed have popped up nation-wide in an effort to train civilians in the basics of bleeding control, and just after a shooting, the program’s popularity would increase drastically. Politics aside, everyone can agree that these skills are absolutely necessary, and yet as time goes on and people begin to feel safe again, their desire to go out-of-the-way to attend one of these free classes begins to wane.
In the military, training doesn’t start after a deployment. It doesn’t start during a deployment either, that wouldn’t make sense. It quite obviously happens before a deployment — before anyone goes to war, it follows that they ought to endow them with the tools to be successful. In the same spirit, if the average person wants to prepare themselves for the next tragic event, they need to go to one of the Stop the Bleed programs before tragedy strikes again.
That means now, when all is relatively quiet.
In a combat scenario, if someone doesn’t know what to do they often feel profoundly helpless. There isn’t much to do if you’re not carrying a weapon, and even if you are, there won’t be much to do after the shooting is over if you don’t know what you’re doing. Before you say that you remember your military training or that someone taught you these things years ago — know that trauma medicine is among the most perishable skills in a Special Operator’s toolbox. If they are constantly training (for years) on basic tasks like putting on tourniquets just to stay proficient, it is unreasonable to assume that someone who hasn’t had professional training in years will be as effective as possible when lives need to be saved.
With that said, it doesn’t have to be an individual going to a class alone. Take your friends, take your family — empower them to be useful when the next shooting happens, for their own sake as well as the sakes of the wounded.
The idea is to integrate the Stop the Bleed program into American society, making it as much of a staple as CPR. Sure, if one person goes to the class they may never use those skills in a mass shooting (though they still might use it elsewhere in life — car accident, workplace accident, an act of violence on the street). However, the more people go, the more they turn it into a movement. The more of a movement it is, the more other people will go. If the mass majority of people are getting certified by Stop the Bleed, you can be sure that the next time something happens a significant amount of people are going to be ready, and they’re going to save lives. At the very least, contribute to that movement.
Featured image courtesy of the Associated Press.