EMS to provide 'Stop the Bleed' kits to all county schools

"In the state of Oklahoma, we're the only county who has done this, put these [kits] in every school" Jeff Fishel, EMS Executive Director

LeFlore County schools will soon receive their "Stop the Bleed" kits after vigorous fundraising efforts by LeFlore County Emergency Medical Services.

EMS raised a little over $10,000 to purchase 249 kits. Each kit includes one permanent marker (to mark time tourniquet is put on), two pairs of gloves, one C-A-T tourniquet, one emergency bandage, one pair of trauma shears, two rolls of compressed gauze dressing and printed inserts to show instructions for use. Kits are vacuum-packed and tamper proof.

Amanda Bandy, EMS paramedic, public relations person and community education professional, who has been with EMS for 11 years, will provide the training to area schools.  At the training, EMS will distribute the kits. Each school in LeFlore County will receive the kits, which will be distributed evenly based on campus size.

EMS held a presentation on Friday at their Poteau EMS station to show off the kits to the community, school officials and the media. 

EMS Executive Director Jeff Fishel said the kit distributor, Bound Tree Medical, worked with them on cost so that EMS was able to purchase 25 percent more kits. Each kit cost $40.29 each. 

"In the state of Oklahoma, we're the only county who has done this, put these [kits] in every school," Fishel said.

Craig Bartley, account manager for Oklahoma/Arkansas with Bound Tree, said the kits are vetted through the Department of Justice. Bartley said stopping the bleed can mean the difference between life or death. He said the "Stop the Bleed" program took notes from the military, where loss of blood has accounted to a large number of deaths. 

"The whole key is to stop the bleeding because it's life over limb," he said.

He said the government also took notice of the "Stop the Bleed" need during mass casualty terrorist attacks, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, where those aiding the wounded made tourniquets from whatever they could find, be it pieces of clothing or belts. 

Bandy said these kits are especially important for LeFlore County, where some schools are rurally located, which increases EMS response time.

The kits will be placed in accessible zones for school staff. School officials were suggested to place them in similar locations as AED defibrillators. EMS also has in the past donated many of these lifesaving machines to area schools.  

EMS began fundraising for the kits several months ago with grassroots efforts by staging in front of the Poteau Walmart. 

In addition to multiple personal donors, donations were received from the Choctaw Nation, T-Wrecks Wrecker Service, AARC Towing, The Community State Bank, Poteau Family Fitness, Kiamichi Technology Centers-Poteau, Riverside Autoplex, Stuteville Dodge, Alexander Insurance, Alexander Fire & Safety and Poteau Women's League. 


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