‘Stop the Bleed’ class trains bystanders to save lives during mass shootings

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- One week after the mass shooting in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of 58 people and injured nearly 500 more, St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood is holding free public classes, teaching everyday people how to help and "Stop the Bleed.”

It’s part of a national program started after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, initiated by the National Security Council Staff and the White House.

In scenes of mass shootings happening across the country, like the one that just happened in Las Vegas, emergency responders say one thing has become most apparent.

“Vegas really really hit home how many people could get injured in such a short period of time,” said Dr. Robert Madayag, Trauma Medical Director at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood.

Even before emergency services can arrive to help, it's bystanders and witnesses already on scene who are the first heroes stepping up when minutes matter in saving a life.

“That is the whole purpose of this program. Emergency personnel might be two to three minutes away but even in the time frame, people could bleed to death," said Dr. Madayag.

That’s why St. Anthony Hospital’s Trauma Department is holding free “Stop the Bleed” classes.

Teaching concerned citizens skills the Trauma Department says are easy and don’t require any medical training.

The skills learned in Saturday’s hour long class included how to apply a tourniquet, the correct way to pack a wound, and how to apply pressure to stop a bleed.

Elizabeth Foley, a ski instructor drove from Telluride from to attend the class.

“It's nice to have this training provided by St. Anthony and Stop the Bleed so that we can feel confident like we can help in a station that unfortunately is becoming more of a reality,” Foley said.

It's training she says will also be relevant in everyday life.

“It makes the difference between that person being able to still join us for another day of skiing or any other pursuit,” said Foley.

In times of trauma and chaos, minutes matter. The more people who know what to do, the more lives that can be saved.

“If you can recognize that people are potentially bleeding to death and you intervene, you are going to save that life. You are going to help people, not hurt them by doing this,” said Dr. Madayag.

The Trauma Department at St. Anthony Hospital is holding weekly “Stop the Bleed” classes and will also hold them in surrounding communities. To find out more, or where you can sign up for a class or host a class in your area you can call 720-266-3804 or visit St. Anthony Hospital's Facebook page.

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