HOWLAND – It is a simple, but poignant saying: The only thing more tragic than death is a death that could have been prevented.

It is a philosophy, born out of the tragedy of Sandy Hook, that is the foundation of Stop the Bleed, a streamlined course on the proper way to apply a tourniquet and keep a person alive.

“Most of the people who died from the gunshots could have survived,” Anna Moses said to members of Howland’s emergency services Tuesday evening during a special “Train the
Trainer” seminar at the town office.

Moses is a Trauma Coordinator and nurse at Eastern Maine Medical Center. She made the trip to Howland after an invite from Emily Luce, a paramedic for Howland.

“We had a bonding experience in the cafe at Eastern Maine,” Moses said, explaining that the two women met when Luce was there on a patient transfer with Fire Chief Josh McNally.

“Stop the bleed ism a national awareness campaign to teach the layperson bleeding control techniques until first responders arrive,” Luce said. “Just like rapid response is needed in a cardiac arrest situation, major bleeding requires fast and effective treatment.”

The short class also deals with dispelling some of the myths about tourniquets, such as the dressing does not cause amputations.

“Tourniquets do not cause amputations, tourniquets save lives,” Moses said.

The most noticeable example of how the class can save lives is the Boston Marathon bombing, in which regular citizens with tourniquet knowledge were instrumental in minimizing
casualties.

It isn’t just large scale tragedies like the school shooting that brought about the campaign that could require fast action to save a life.

Moses gave examples of hunting accidents and
automobile accidents that could place a patient in jeopardy of bleeding out.

“It takes 34 seconds to bleed to death,” she said.

Luce said now some of Howland’s firefighters are certified, they can begin teaching interested residents.

“The only takes about an hour,” Luce said. “The intended audience is anyone; no medical training needed, no specific age.”

McNally and Luce said the department will be setting up dates in the near future to train those interested.

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