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In about six minutes or less, a person with a severe injury can bleed to death. But a free program called “Stop the Bleed” can teach you what to do before first responders arrive that could mean the difference between life and death.
Davie Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Heath Meyer teaches everyday people what to do to a person at risk of bleeding to death, before first responders arrive.
“When your friend or a co-worker is dying, you can take this kit, you don’t have to touch the blood, and just put a tourniquet on,” said Meyer.
The training is part of a nationwide program called “Stop the Bleed,” which started first in South Florida at the Davie Fire Department in late 2014. Trainers use kits containing tourniquets and blood stopping gauze.
Saving lives is everything to Meyer, who was a volunteer firefighter in New York during 9/11.
“I worked next door to the World Trade Center,” said Meyer as he got emotional. “I did 21 firefighter funerals.”
Meyer says he’s thankful the kits are all around Davie. The town passed an ordinance at the end of last year, requiring them in larger establishments such as hospitals, office buildings and dorms.
Niklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami started the “Stop the Bleed” program a few months ago.
“In 6 minutes, the artery will kill you. In 6 minutes, the other artery will do the same. Anyone next to the person can save you,” said Dr. Leopoldo Malvezzi, who is the medical director of the trauma program at Niklaus Children’s Hospital.
At the training session in Davie, physician Carlos Pulido, who is the director of the pre-medical program at American Heritage School, plans to take his training to school administration.
“You can never do enough,” said Pulido.
The state of Florida granted the city of Davie $30,000 to make 400 more of the tourniquet kits.
“I think it’s worth every penny that’s spent,” said Meyer.