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Wed, Sep 25


Polk County Westside Community Center

Stop The Bleed

Stop the bleed, Save a life!!!

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Stop The Bleed
Stop The Bleed

Time & Location

Sep 25, 2019, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Polk County Westside Community Center, 134 6th St, West Des Moines, IA 50265, USA


About the Event

In December of 2012 the Sandy Hook Elementary School was destroyed by a single 20-year-old male who murdered 20 first grade students and 6 others in less than 11 minutes (Sendensky, 2013). One man with a desire to mass murder snuffed the life of 27 people that day (the murderer killed his own mother at their home before the shooting at Sandy Hook). Countless families where forever changed at the loss of life that day. In the aftermath the Hartford Consensus took place. The Hartford Consensus was convened to “Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events… by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in collaboration with the medical community and representatives from the federal government, the National Security Council, the U.S. military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and governmental and nongovernmental emergency medical response organizations, among others” (The Harford Consensus, 2013). From this initiative the ACS with other stakeholders developed the program to “Stop the Bleed”. This program teaches vital bleeding control methods to help save lives in the event of Life-threatening injuries that can occur at any time. This may include:

• Car, motorcycle, or bicycle crashes

• Home repair accidents

• Active shooter incidents

• Severe weather

• Acts of terrorism

• Transportation issues

Stop the Bleed training is only half of the equation. Without bleeding control equipment people may succumb to their injuries without having proper equipment which many people don’t think to carry or have access to. This is where Public Access Bleeding Control Stations or Personal Kits come into necessity. Many people are conscious of the fact that at any time one person can cause major traumatic injuries to people for the simple act of wanting to kill as many people as they can. The need to have a plan in place, people trained, and equipment on hand to control bleeding is as necessary to having AED and CPR trained people, fire extinguishers, and background checks on those who serve. We encourage you to seek a few people who are willing to conduct security and be trained and ready to help in medical emergencies to protect the flock from wolves in sheep’s clothing. 

Why do we need Bleeding Control Training or Kits? 

Schools, houses of worship, malls, and government buildings are the primary targets for active shooters. There is no rhyme or reason to when and where the next will happen. We all hope and pray this won’t happen in our community but unfortunately the Des Moines Metro has seen its share of attacks. In 2017 St. Augustin Catholic Church had an incident where a deacon was attacked by a woman with a knife (Haley & Ta, 2017). Later that year at Zion Lutheran Church a mass shooting resulted in one person being murdered and another 3 injured by gunfire in their parking lot (Longman, 2017). Although this shooting wasn’t directed at the church stray bullets could have hit people in the church had anyone been there. It is unfortunate that we see such violence in and around our houses of worship. Data figures argue that since 1999 19 churches have had fatal shootings that have taken life; others argue for lower numbers (Earl, 2018). Regardless of how many shootings the need to have a plan, training, and equipment to respond in the event of an active/mass shooter event is obvious. The average person in an active shooter event receives 2.7 gunshot wounds with 77% of these wounds being to the head and torso (Smith, Shapario, & Sarani, 2018). According to Smith, Shapario, and Sarani in their article in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery The profile of wounding in civilian public mass shooting fatalities found that 89% of people who died from preventable death did so from wounds to the chest. This means that people who have HyFin chest seal included in the Public Access Bleeding Control kits could have potentially been saved had there been trained people on site with equipment. That is what Public Access Bleeding Control Stations are all about; saving people from preventable death from bleeding not only from man-made events but also traumatic accidents. For example, in Urbandale Iowa the average response time for the Fire Department would be 6 to 9 minutes. In an active/mass shooter event it could take up to 30 minutes or more to effectively get even the smallest building cleared by police and safety established for first responders to come into the building. We need you to understand that police are trained to pass by the casualties and secure the building. Also know that uncontrolled bleeding from 2.7 gunshot wounds could potentially be fatal in as little as 3 minutes if uncontrolled in the limbs and 5 minutes with the untreated chest wound. What this all means is we are the help until help arrives which could mean we have to sustain casualties for several minutes. On average most, active shooter events last between 10 and 30 minutes depending on the shooter or the ability of a security team members, bystander, or police to kill or stop the killer. We need to be ready to help people if we ever need to. 


Training is conducted by Andrew Bowers a Veteran who served 12 years in the U.S. Army as an Infantrymen and Combat Lifesaver with his EMT training being completed in 2007. He has trained countless soldiers and civilians in bleeding control techniques and shares his experience and passion to help members of his community to Stop the Bleed. The course is delivered in a professional manner requiring only a large television or projector and a room with tables and seating. Andrew will bring all training material with him. The course takes about 1.5 hrs. Upon completion people will be given a certificate of completion from the American College of Surgeons. 


Training is provided free of charge by a certified Stop the Bleed Trainer. Bleeding control kits are commercially available through the American College of Surgeons at The instructor recommends the  Intermediate Care  kits either Individual or Public Access Bleeding Control Station because of their chest seals and the reliability of the company which is used by our military. We recommend one Bleeding Control Station and one AED station in every building. Each bleeding control station should have a wall mount, clearly identifiable markings, no less than 8 bleeding control kits with Gloves, HyFin chest seals, CAT Tourniquets, Pressure Dressing, Sharpie, and Trauma Sheers, one emergency patient litter, and instructions to remind responders how to Stop the Bleed. Please watch this 5-minute video from North American Rescue and see what this product looks like. 

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