Fire District No. 1 donates trauma kits to local schools

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One of the 50 basic JACOB Kits that SCFD No. 1 will be placing in rooms throughout Silver Hills Elementary and Wallace Jr./Sr. High School. The kit’s contents include everything needed to stop bleeding, such as hemostatic gauze, pressure bandages, a tourniquet, gloves, trauma sutures and other useful items. Photo by JOHN MILLER

OSBURN — It’s an unfortunate reality nowadays that teachers and staff must be prepared if a school shooting situation occurs.

The uptick in these types of incidents across the country has led to many changes in our education system. From increased security and tighter lockdown procedures to the question of stricter or looser gun laws, several ideas have been pitched to curtail this violence.

One idea that most can agree on, however, is that if someone is hurt in this or any kind of situation, it is vital to have the means to care for that victim until help arrives.

Shoshone County Fire District No. 1 is making sure that the Wallace School District has these means.

On Monday, SCFD No. 1 announced that they will be providing 50 JACOB Kits to the two Wallace schools and showing staff members how to properly use their contents, if the need arises.

The package-sized kits are designed to be kept in schools and contain life-saving equipment that can be used to minimize blood loss.

Firefighter/AEMT John Miller explained in a news release that this kit is just a part of a national initiative launched by the Department of Homeland Security called “Stop the Bleed.”

The initiative was green-lit in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting after the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events was formed by the American College of Surgeons.

This committee held two meetings with a focus on early bleeding control, using data compiled from military and civilian experiences and places. The concepts put forth and supported by both meetings were referred to as the “Hartford Consensus.”

When the consensus strongly endorsed civilian bystander involvement, Stop the Bleed was born in 2015 to encourage civilian training programs.

The JACOB Kit itself was created in 2016 in honor of Jacob Hall, a 6-year-old student who was the victim of a school shooting in South Carolina. Miller said that while Jacob initially survived the wound he received to his leg, he died three days later from massive blood loss.

“Occasionally, tragedy is the mother of invention,” he added.

When Angela and Daniel Byrne heard Jacob’s story, they realized a tourniquet may have been able to save his life. The teacher-firefighter duo began researching the Stop the Bleed campaign so that they could educate others in minimizing blood loss.

In an effort to reach out to schools, they came up with the JACOB Kit.

Based on the recommendations of the Hartford Consensus and Stop the Bleed, the trauma kit contains a tourniquet, trauma dressing, gauze, gloves, trauma shears, a permanent marker, a bleeding control patch, a nylon bag and instructions on how to use it all.

Although it was created in reaction to a school shooting, the kit’s items can be used in any situation where an individual is suffering from uncontrolled bleeding.

SCFD No. 1 got the idea to place the kits in Silver Hills Elementary and Wallace Jr./Sr. High School after Chief Aaron Cagle read an article about them in Firehouse Weekly roughly six months ago.

“When I saw that, I thought that if we could be a part of what gets it spread all the way across the nation, it would be a great thing,” he said.

Cagle and Miller then started reaching out for community support to fund the idea.

“I put the word out to a couple different community members and one of them came up and said they would like to fund it, so that made it possible to buy the stuff because there is no extra money in the budget,” Cagle explained. “Then of course, we reached out to the school district to make sure it was an OK thing to do with them and they were all for it.”

That community member, or rather members, in particular were Herb and Kathy Zanetti with Zanetti Brothers Inc.

Kathy explained that they first heard about the idea in March 2018 from the city of Osburn Clerk’s Office. When they were then approached by SCFD No. 1 and learned the details surrounding the importance of the trauma kits, the two didn’t hesitate to sponsor the idea.

“Each and every step forward in the protection of the students and staff within our schools is one worth promoting,” Kathy said. “Five generations of family member’s have attended schools in the Wallace district and Zanetti Bros. has been a supporting member of ‘Osburn City Business since 1935.’ Working successfully with these two entities has been both an honor and a privilege — a relationship we pledge to continue if possible.”

Purchased from North American Rescue, LLC, SCFD No. 1 hope to have the kits in the schools by the end of May- right after they show the students and staff of the schools how to use them.

Firefighters will be going to Silver Hills Elementary on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. and Wallace High School on Friday also at 1:15 p.m.

“It is important that our teachers feel comfortable using the supplies in each kit to help bridge the gap between the time a child suffers a life-threatening injury and the time emergency responders can arrive by their side to start rendering aid,” Miller stated.

Cagle hopes that the idea of these kits being placed in schools doesn’t end with WSD.

“The goal is to keep the program growing and starting,” he said. “We hope that other people learn about this and everyone finds someone in their district to support their schools so we can see them all over next year.”

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