CHATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett is using money seized from drug dealers to buy Stop the Bleed kits for the schools across his county.
Each box is about $1,000.
“I was able to purchase these kits with drug asset seizure money,” Bartlett explained. “It’s turned over to us, and there’s federal guidelines we have to abide by. This didn’t cost the taxpayers a dime. This came from the bad guys’ money, and we’re able to put it into schools.”
Each box contains eight kits, which include gloves, infused gauze, scissors, and a tourniquet.
“It’s very, very important to get these kits to a traumatic injury right away to stop the bleeding until EMS and other first responders get there,” the sheriff said.
“Stop the Bleed” is a nationwide effort to educate bystanders on life-saving techniques in an active bleeding situation similar to teaching someone CPR.
“My goal is to have every school resource deputy trained as a trainer, so the school will have this trainer at their disposal to train whoever they see fit,” said Sheriff Bartlett.
While many minds will go straight to concerns of an active shooter, authorities and administrators said the application is much more broad than that. The likelihood for a bad fall on the playground or a slip up in shop class is far greater.
Sal DeAngelo, Superintendent of Chatham Central School District, believes the training provides skills that students and staff can use out in the public or even at home.
“We hear stories all the time of kids helping to save their parents’ or friends’ lives because they’ve received the proper training. Or at least they know what to do in addition to calling 911 in the time between first responders arriving,” said DeAngelo.
In Chatham, the plan is to introduce the training in three phases. First, to building leadership, then to staff, then they would eventually like to introduce it at an age appropriate level to some of the students.
DeAngelo said they will be looking for ways to engage parents in the training as well.
“We’re an educational facility, so learning and training is a very important part of what we do on a regular basis. This is just one logical extension to everything else we do to keep our kids safe,” he said.
“It’s a team effort working to make our community safer,” Bartlett said.