IOWA CITY IA May 26 2017
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is arming its security guards with the knowledge to help save lives.
This week, officers are learning how to identify and stop life-threatening bleeding in emergency situations, situations that they tend to be the first to arrive on scene for.
"If something were to happen in the hospital, all of the equipment and the resources are usually in a location such as the emergency room or the operating room but not necessarily where the patient is injured. It could be outside or in a hallway where they're not able to quickly get to the emergency room," Dionne Skeete said.
Skeete is a trauma surgeon at the hospital and led the training of the officers where they learn how to use tourniquets. Tourniquets can prevent a person from bleeding to death by being wrapped above an injury on their arms and legs. Security personnel also learned how to stop bleeding using gauze.
None of us want to think about this happening but if there was a bombing or a mass shooter the scene has to be safe for the providers to get there and that may not always be the case so it's important that we arm the security personnel, police officers, to provide that aid until it's safe for EMS," Skeete said.
The hospital is holding three training sessions in order to train its near 50 officers.
Officers that partook in the first session said it was both beneficial and important for them to do.
"Every time an incident can happen this will help me provide better aid because we're usually the first ones on the scene," UIHC Security Guard Jason Morris said.
Morris said he already feels more confident towards handling medical emergencies and being prepared for the worst.
"In this day in age you never know what can happen, if it's an active shooter or if it's just an accident on the farm or out hunting. It's good information to save a life, a buddy, or a family member," he said.
The training is part of the "Stop the Bleed Campaign" through the American College of Surgeons.
They hope to expand this type of training to the public to make people more equip to handling emergencies until EMS can arrive.
More details about this and tourniquets can be found at bleedingcontrol.org.