CHATHAM, NJ - Shooting incidents have brought attention to the importance of on-the-scene medical treatment that can save lives. That's why a national awareness campaign is being sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security to help train people to act in such emergencies.

Chatham High student Melina Panagakos has taken on the challenge of bringing awareness to the Chatham community as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project.

To that end, she has been holding one-hour classes on "tourniquets and bleed packing" where attendees receive bleeding control certification. The second part of her project is to provide schools with bleed-control kits to use in case of an emergency.

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Melina Panagakos shows how to apply a tourniquet

"My project is educating the Chatham school district and community on how to react to emergency situations where bleeding control could be needed," Panakagos said. "My project has two main components – holding bleeding control classes and providing the schools with bleeding control kits."

Panagakos details her Gold Award Project below and the benefits it will provide.

Classes

My project mentor, Tim Brown, flight nurse and member of the Chatham EMS, and have been holding training sessions at Chatham Schools.  

The class runs 1 hour and includes hands-on experience with tourniquets and wound packing. Attendees receive a bleeding control certification after the class. 

Kits

My goal is to provide each school with bleeding control kits.  Each kit includes a tourniquet, gauze, trauma dressing, gloves, sharpie and an instruction card

Funding of kits – I am raising money through donations from a Go Fund Me campaign – all donations will go toward the purchase of kits. The kits range from $45 for the kit to $115 for the kit with a wall mounted box.

To donate:   https://www.gofundme.com/chatham-stopthebleeding

Coming Events

Community Training:  Saturday, May 11th and Saturday, May 18th -- FREE 

Time:  10:00am - sessions run 1 hour

Location:  Chatham Emergency Squad building - 45 Spring Street, Chatham 

RSVP: chathambcon@gmail.com

Background on Stop the Bleed

The genesis of Stop the Bleed dates to 2013, following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. The idea was to expand beyond first responders the number of people who know what to do when faced with traumatic bleeding injuries.

Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, it's a national awareness campaign and call-to-action. Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

A person can bleed to death in less than five minutes, which makes it difficult for emergency medical responders to arrive fast enough to control bleeding and save lives.

Although a shooting incident was the catalyst for Stop the Bleed, this isn’t just about a shooting, accidents can happen anywhere -  car accidents, playgrounds, gyms, janitorial/maintenance activities, home accidents, etc.