Students and staff of North Royalton City Schools are entering the second half of the academic year even more prepared for emergency situations.
A program named “Stop the Bleed” is training school district staff on how to use their hands, supplied dressings and tourniquets to control bleeding and be better equipped to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The program is a partnership between the local fire department and University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, who donated more than 400 buckets and 90 trauma kits – enough for every building classroom, district school bus and vehicle. It is a donation valued at $32,000 and buckets include kits, gloves, gauze and tourniquets, according to information released by the North Royalton City Schools.
Personnel from the UH EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute have been working alongside school employees throughout the month and will conclude their training in February when they meet with elementary staff.
“This is another layer of our safety and security plans,” said Superintendent Greg Gurka. “The hope is that we never have to use these kits and that they will never be touched, because if they are touched that means that something has happened, but I am grateful all of our classrooms and transportation vehicles will have the means to help each other out.”
Developed after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut, the “Stop the Bleed” bleeding control training equips school staff with quick-thinking know-how.
“Properly trained and equipped teachers and staff can begin bleeding control treatment before the ambulance arrives,” said Joseph W. Toth of the EMS Training & Disaster Preparedness Institute in a statement released by the North Royalton City Schools. “This can be the difference between life and death.”
Preparedness continues to be the key theme as North Royalton City Schools goes into the second half of the academic year with its adopted safety strategy, ALICE, a civilian-based response strategy for crisis situations. It stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.”
ALICE was introduced to district parents this past September and since then, students and staff have engaged in age-appropriate training for how to empower themselves in an emergency. Assistant Superintendent Jim Presot and Jon Karl, school resource officer, discussed the emergency preparedness plan and procedure with each grade level and teachers have incorporated ALICE into their lesson plans, providing age-appropriate directions for what actions need to be taken by students in the event of an emergency. Preparedness drills are a large component and as mandated by the state, students do 12 drills per academic year – six fire drills, three emergency response drills and three tornado drills.

“What I’m hearing is appreciation that we have taken this step and that we have a comprehensive program in place that uses the same procedure and language in every building,” Gurka said of the response to ALICE.
ALICE training focuses on all types of emergency situations, from fast-moving weather patterns such as recorded tornados, to a child having a medical incident such as a seizure on school property, or even a crime within city limits where a criminal has escaped on-foot. The key is to equip staff and students with knowledge and procedure in what to do.
“We practice so students aren’t afraid, aren’t nervous and are very matter-of-fact in that this is what we do and this is how we handle it,” Gurka said. “In an emergency, absolutely there will be nerves and emotions, but we want that muscle memory to take over. ALICE is not intended to frighten, but to make sure everyone knows what to do.”
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Contributing Writer