What some Butler County students are learning to treat bullet wounds in extreme emergencies

There’s a new course offering at some Butler County high schools – bullet wound treatment.

Butler County high school students and teachers are training to be “immediate responders” in dressing bullet wounds from gun attacks on campuses under a new program from a local hospital.

And a medical trauma official predicts the new, on-site training – and “stop the bleed” medical emergency kits – will soon spread beyond the initial three school systems already participating.

The Journal-News has learned Madison, Edgewood and Talawanda schools in Butler County are the first to take part in bleeding cessation classes taught since January by trauma personnel from Atrium Medical Center.

And freshmen students at Ross High School are also being taught trauma medical skills via University of Cincinnati Health personnel, said school officials.

Last summer, Ross teachers received bullet wound treatment training using raw meat infused with fake blood.

ExploreVIDEO & STORY: Ross School teachers learn bullet-wound treatments in prep for armed attack

The first-time inclusion of medical triage training in local public schools is just one of the many reactions to concerns about deadly, armed attacks on schools, which last year saw dozens gunned down at high schools in Florida and Texas and in violence at other schools across the nation.

And locally, an armed student wounded four classmates on the Madison High School campus in 2016.

Some school districts in Butler County have been among the leaders in Southwest Ohio in pushing for enhanced security, building protection funding and bolstering the number of armed school resource officers (SROs).

The Madison district has been the most proactive by allowing some trained school staffers to carry or have access to handguns during the school day.

Madison officials said some students, along with staffers, received wound training from Atrium but declined to comment further.

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Ann Brock, trauma outreach coordinator for Atrium in Middletown, said some area schools such as Madison are keenly interested in the training for both teachers and students.

“It teaches them (teachers and students) to be immediate responders in how to stop the bleeding among shooting victims,” said Brock.

“We teach them how to use a tourniquet to stop bleeding, how to pack a bleeding wound (bullet or laceration) with gauze.”

“It’s empowering them in what they can do in this sort of situation,” she said.

Brock said tourniquet kits or medical trauma kits will soon be as common place in local schools as fire extinguishers.

“We are going to start to see them more and more. They may be in every classroom because if they (students and teachers) are pinned down by gunfire in their classroom and can’t reach the kit in the hallway,” she said.

At Edgewood Schools, school nurses, principals and some school staffers recently took part in Atrium’s bleeding control training.

“Our plan is for our nurses to offer stop the bleeding training to all Edgewood employees next school year,” said Pam Pratt, spokeswoman for the district. “As part of the stop the bleed program, triage kits have been provided to all our nurses and school resources officers.”

John Thomas, director of business operation for Edgewood Schools said “attending this training supports our safety and security plan for the district along with providing us with additional resources for on-going safety training for our employees.”

Scott Gates, superintendent of Ross Schools, said his district’s goal is to train students as freshmen – as part of health classes – so that in each the next three years, successively more teens on the Ross High School campus will know trauma wound treatment.

“Another 40-50 school staffers will also receive training and we will continue to build on that,” Gates said.

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