Teachers and staff at H.H. Garnet Elementary School participate in CPR training during a professional development day this fall. The Kent County Health Department has been providing CPR and Stop the Bleed training in schools.
ROCK HALL — Kent County Public Schools has partnered with the health department here to provide critical life-saving training for staff members.
This fall, the team at the Kent County Health Department has been visiting schools to provide CPR and Stop the Bleed training for teachers and staff.
"I truly believe these training sessions are important," said Vandrick Hamlin, coordinator of mental health and school safety for Kent County Public Schools. "Having our staff trained in school will dramatically increase the number of first responders in our community."
The school system schedules monthly professional development days for teachers, providing them time during the work week to participate in training sessions.
Health Department trainers such as CPR instructor Megan Hopkins have come out to schools on those professional development days. They have taught staff how to perform CPR and to control bleeding while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
Andy Glenn is the public health emergency planner at the Health Department.
Glenn said the national average response time for emergency medical service personnel is seven to 10 minutes, and often longer with rural, volunteer-based EMS system. He said blood loss can lead to death in three to five minutes.
"There is a recognition that blood loss is probably the number one cause of death due to trauma," Glenn said. "Stop the Bleed is aimed toward getting the basic principles of bleeding control out into the community so people can step in and effect some positive outcomes."
Stop the Bleed kits containing tourniquets, bandages, gloves and more are in every school.
While the likelihood of a violent critical incident occurring here is very low, Kent County Public Schools is dedicated to ensuring buildings are safe and staff is properly trained.
"Now matter how fast professional emergency responders arrive, our staff will always be first on the scene," Hamlin said. "Every second counts and we have the ability and know-how to increase the chances of survival if our staff is prepared to perform CPR and bleeding control."