152nd Medical Group - public health

The mission statement of the 152nd Medical Group's Public Health Section is preventing disease, disability, and death.

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B-CON Bleeding Control Class in Elko, Nevada
Editorial By Tech. Sgt. David Morris, 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron Fire and Emergency Services

In this day and age, and world in which we live, it’s a harsh reality that terrorist attacks are quite common. The fact is:  anyone could be a victim of an attack if they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. The mentality of “it won’t happen to me” is no longer bliss to those Americans who do their best to stay informed about local and worldwide events. Nobody thought that they would die or lose loved ones in Aurora, Colo. on July 20, 2012 during a movie. Nobody believed that the reason they wouldn’t cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 would be because of an explosion and everyone at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016 was just out to have a good time. Not to be killed by a terrorist.

So what can we do about this? How can we save more lives and fight terror? Some people have sworn an oath and joined the military, police force, fire department, or other agencies out to stop terror attacks. These people are the defenders of our way of life, who are willing to put their lives on the line to stop a terrorist attack. However, not everyone can be, nor do they want to be, a defender and there’s nothing wrong with that. Most people are simply trying to live their lives and put food on the table with a roof over their heads. But there is always the possibility that our defenders miss something and a terrorist attack will impact people. In those instances, bystanders can be the difference between life and death for those around them.

Enter the Bleeding Control (B-CON) class put on by the Nevada Air National Guard (NVANG) and the Nevada Nurses Association (NNA). This two-hour class is designed to teach the untrained bystander how to save a life in the event of a terrorist attack such as a bombing, stabbing, or mass shooting. B-CON is a White House Initiative that former President Obama championed as a part of the Stop The Bleed Campaign (www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed). The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) helped to develop the course and make it readily accessible. The course covers how to stop bleeding from a limb and from other parts of the body. It does this by discussing tourniquets, pressure points, wound packing, and hemostatic agents. The course also covers proper airway management and safety. Students receive training in how to handle themselves, and others, in the event of an emergency.  Their objective being to keep someone alive long enough for emergency medical responders to arrive.

On July 29, 2017 Capt. Rebecca Gilbert and Tech. Sgt. David Morris, from the NVANG, along with nurses Amy Pang (St Mary’s) and Maria Miralles (Renown), as part of the NNA, taught the B-CON class to 28 students in Elko, Nev. at Great Basin College. The students consisted of first responders, nursing students, school nurses, and retirees.

“All of the students were very engaged and seemed to really enjoy the class,” Gilbert said. She added, “The feedback we received from our students highlighted that they very much enjoyed learning about how to make easy to use improvised tourniquets.”

Thus far, the B-CON class has been taught at many different sites throughout the Reno area to include: University of Nevada Reno, The Nugget Casino, and Nevada Air National Guard Base. With this class reaching all of the way out to Elko, the emphasis is to spread the word about B-CON and to teach it throughout the state. At the moment there is talk about the class coming to Battle Mountain and even Tonopah. One of the enticing aspect of the B-CON class is that it is offered at no charge to the people and companies who wish to take it and that instructors from the NVANG teach the class on a voluntary status. “We just want to reach as many people as possible to give them the education that they need to help save a life,” Pang added.

While we go about living our lives, day by day, we put our faith into the defenders of our lives and our freedoms. However, it’s an unfortunate truth that terror can strike again and take the lives of innocent civilians. Those bystanders who are trained in B-CON can be the difference between life and death. Anyone can take this class and everyone who wants to make a difference should. This means that everyone, regardless of their occupation or background, can be a hero to someone in need.

For more information about B-CON please visit www.bleedingcontrol.org