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Stop the Bleed training under way in Dawson
Stop the Bleed pic
Dawson County Emergency Services Director Lanier Swafford instructs Dawson County Manager David Headley and Facilities Director James Tolbert during Stop the Bleed training on Oct. 9. - photo by For the Dawson County News

Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma – whether that trauma be a result of an accident or intentional harm. The greater the number of people who know how to control bleeding in an injured patient, the greater the chances that patient has of surviving the injury.

That’s why Dawson County Emergency Services has been conducting Stop the Bleed training across the county’s schools and with local law enforcement. And, on Oct. 9, DCES kicked off county employee training with Dawson’s senior staff.

“We always hope to never be faced with a situation in which we have to use this kind of training,” said Dawson County Manager David Headley, who was among those who underwent training on Oct. 9. “But, if we are, the instruction given through Stop the Bleed prepares us. This training also serves as a helpful refresher course for those who already know how to treat an uncontrolled bleeding injury.”

Stop the Bleed is an initiative funded by the Georgia Trauma Commission and was developed because of the increasing number of active shooter and mass casualty events across the nation. Gov. Nathan Deal has been a strong advocate of the program and played a key role in launching the initiative.

“I tell folks this training is addressing trauma care today much as CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) began to address sudden cardiac arrest in the 1960s and 70s,” said DCES Director Lanier Swafford. “It’s that important - it can, will and has saved lives.”

Dawson County Superintendent Damon Gibbs said the Dawson County School System is one of the first districts in northeast Georgia to offer Stop the Bleed training for its staff members.

“As of October, over 300 of the district's employees have completed the training,” Gibbs said. “The well-being of our staff and students is our top priority. This training empowers our staff members to be immediate responders if needed in a crisis situation.”

Schools will be provided with bleeding control kits, which include items like gloves, bandages and a tourniquet. Swafford said he hopes other county facilities will soon be equipped with these kits as well.

Chad Black, director of Habersham County EMS and chairman of the Region 2 Regional Trauma Advisory Council said he is extremely honored as the chairman of the Region 2 RTAC to work beside the professionals of Dawson County Emergency Services.

“Leading the way with other partners across the state with Stop the Bleed training, DCES has taken another step forward to assure their community is prepared in the event the unthinkable occurs,” Black said. “I extend my sincere appreciation to Chief Swafford and his staff for their efforts.”