An East Lincoln Middle School student realized something critical was missing from what his stepfather, who is the student resource officer at his school, carried while doing his job. Tyler Avery is gearing up to begin working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. Avery’s idea is to fund the purchase of bleeding control kits to be carried by Lincoln County Schools student resource officers and to instruct the SROs, teachers and staff how to use them.
Avery learned of the grassroots “Stop the Bleed” campaign through his mother, Melissa Isaacks, who is a trauma registrar for Novant Health, and doing community outreach for the Stop the Bleed campaign.
“It’s in all the surrounding counties, but not in Lincoln County,” she said.
At a Lincoln County Schools Board of Education meeting in March, Avery made a presentation on his project and it was approved unanimously by the board. Now he has to raise upward of $50,000 to fund it before beginning the actual work to become an Eagle Scout.
The bleeding control kits are small and can be either carried or kept in a central location. They contain items like a tourniquet, bleeding control dressing, a face mask, nitrate gloves, shears, a permanent marker and bleeding control instruction card. They retail for approximately $30.
Avery will also assist with classes on how to use the kits to stop bleeding.
“This will save lives,” he said. “The less blood you lose the better chance you have of living.”
Unfortunately, as Isaacks said, children like Avery are growing up in the “school shooting era” and this is the primary purpose of the Stop the Bleed campaign. It was developed after the Sandy Hook shooting to teach bystanders, who are often the first people to come upon victims, to apply pressure and stop bleeding from wounds. Massive bleeding, like what could occur from a gunshot wound or explosion, can result in death within minutes. Just like people learn how to perform CPR, they can also learn how to stop bleeding using their hands, dressings and tourniquets.
“School resource officers will be the first ones to get the kits because they’re our first line of defense in the schools,” Isaacks said. “The next goal is to supply a large kit to be kept in the school office. The large kits cost about $900 and contain smaller kits that can be passed out in an emergency. After that, we’d like to have every teacher in every classroom to have a Stop the Bleed kit in their classroom.”
In order to raise the money needed to begin this project, Avery and his mother are applying for grants, fundraising at the schools and plan to approach the Timken Foundation for funding. The first school that they’ll be starting with will be East Lincoln Middle School. Obviously, this will be a long process as it’s a substantial amount of money to raise.
“Tyler can’t teach the classes, but he can be there and help with skills,” Isaacks said. “We’re going to work in collaboration with my community outreach program and with Atrium Health Lincoln and get instructors. The first thing is to educate everyone, then distribute the kits. We’re looking at it taking at least a year.”