Through a $250,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Health, the statewide Stop The Bleed (STB) program was able to provide more than 300 schools with public access trauma kits.

The original initiative in Arkansas was started in 2014 by a group of volunteers who wanted to provide point of injury medical care and training to non-traditional and non-medical personnel to minimize preventable deaths from trauma.

According to an STB research, more than 5,000 law enforcement officers between 2014-2017 across the state have received the training.

Clayton Goddard, special operations supervisor with the Metropolitan Emergency Services (MEMS) said in summer 2017, an expanded part-two proposal was presented to the Arkansas Department of Education to implement the program at every school in the state.

The proposal includes school nurses who, once trained, would go back and train a minimum of 25 percent of the school’s faculty and staff.

In addition, all districts that participate would receive one wall-mounted public access kit for their schools and the program would also be included as a graduation requirement along with current CPR training for students.

Goddard said a school in Mayflower will receive the kit and officials in the Conway School District are in the process of being scheduled for the training as well.

Department of Health’s Greg Brown, branch chief, trauma and emergency response, said trauma is the number one cause of death for Arkansans between the ages of 1 and 45 years old.

“Immediate volunteer responders who are trained in Stop the Bleed techniques can make a life or death difference to a person who is injured and we feel very strongly that providing our support, both financially and by assisting in teaching these classes, will make a difference in the lives of Arkansans,” he said. “This is truly a public health initiative and [we] are proud to be a partner in this endeavor.”

To date, 102 Conway Police Department officers or 80 percent of the department have gone through the training, according to spokesman Chris Harris.

“Our department feels like this program is very important for our officers, but for the community as well,” he said. “The first few minutes after a traumatic event are the most important.”

Harris said most trauma-related deaths occur before a person reaches the hospital.

“We recognize the importance in getting our officers the proper training to control bleeding not only for each other, but for the community as well,” he said.

Since the program was implemented, Harris said, there have been multiple instances where officers have used their kits. Most recently being when a person received an accidental gunshot wound to the femoral artery and the kit “quite possibly saved” the victim’s life.

“The [CPD] is partnering with the Conway Regional Medical Center, Conway Fire Department and MEMS to enhance our training with uncontrolled bleeding and prevent the loss of life,” he said.

Goddard said most people are taught to call 911 in an emergency but a person’s fate is determined in one to five minutes.

The training, he said, can equip bystanders, beyond CPR, to aid in life-saving efforts before first responders are able to arrive at the scene.

“Everybody needs to know it,” Goddard said.

He said the initiative would also be going before Arkansas Legislatures, who would be provided an overview of the program, Feb. 28.

“It’s a difference maker,” Goddard said.

Stop the Bleed partners include the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and others.

For more information, visit www.bleedingcontrol.org