Richmond, Virginia – October 16, 2017 – In a project to raise grant funding that began a year ago, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and VCU Health teamed up to provide 35 of Richmond’s Public Schools with Bleeding Control (BCON) equipment. The equipment, prescribed by national Stop the Bleed Campaign, contains tourniquets, bandages and specially treated gauze dressings; all designed to assist with the clotting and control of bleeding.
Uncontrolled bleeding is responsible for 35 percent of pre-hospital trauma deaths and 40 percent of deaths within the first 24 hours. The Stop the Bleed campaign was launched in 2015 as part of a nationwide effort to reduce these numbers. Stop the Bleed aims to teach simple techniques to slow or stop life-threatening bleeding, believing that people already at the scene can help save lives before first responders arrive.
Active shooter or mass casualty incidents, most recently in Las Vegas and previously at Columbine High School (Denver, CO) and Sandy Hook Elementary (Newtown, CT) have become a reality of modern life and everyone must be prepared for training for the worst while hoping for the best. More than 300 people have been killed in the United States during what have been classified as active shooter and mass-casualty incidents since the Columbine High School shootings in 1999.
Chip Decker, CEO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority commented, “All too often, victims of active shooter or mass-casualty incidents bleed to death waiting for medical treatment. Responses to save victims have to be immediate, fully orchestrated and ready to go. This equipment and the associated training is clearly the way to go”.
The equipment, valued at $22,000, was funded by the VCU Auxiliary Fund to the tune of $5000 and then matched by the Richmond Ambulance Authority. RAA then applied for and received an additional $12,000 from the Altria Companies Employee Community Fund (ACECF). Once funding was secured and equipment purchased, RAA and VCU Medical Center sent instructors to train all RPS Nursing and Security staff to ensure there is a trained member of staff on site at every school receiving a BCON kit. The hope is now to continue to train as many staff as possible in the coming months.
“A trained person on site can make a lifesaving difference. As the only Level 1 trauma center in central Virginia, we know how critical it is to control bleeding quickly. A person can die from blood loss within minutes without care,” said Michel Aboutanos, M.D., medical director of the VCU Trauma Center.
The first packs containing the equipment was presented at the RPS School Board meeting on Monday by RAA Chief Executive Officer, Chip Decker and Beth Broering MSN, RN, FAEN Trauma Program Manager at the VCU Trauma Center.
“We appreciate this generous donation from the Richmond Ambulance Authority and Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in providing the BCON equipment for our schools,” said Interim Superintendent Thomas Kranz. “The proactive thinking to create these kits as well as train all of our health services and security teams can make a life-saving difference in an emergency situation. The safety of our students and staff is a number one priority, so these kits will allow us to be even more prepared to quickly respond should an incident or severe injury occur.”
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About the Richmond Ambulance Authority
In 1991, the Richmond City Council and the city manager implemented an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system that placed the patient first and guaranteed its performance to the City’s residents. Today, the Richmond Ambulance Authority responds to approximately 200 calls per day and transports, on average, 140 patients per day. RAA’s emergency response times are among the fastest in the nation with ambulances on the scene of life threatening emergencies in less than 8 minutes and 59 seconds in more than 90% of all responses. RAA is one of only 24 EMS agencies in North America accredited by both the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services and the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. RAA is also a Commonwealth of Virginia Accredited Dispatch Center. For more information, see www.raaems.org.
About VCU and VCU Health
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 225 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Seventy-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. The VCU Health brand represents the health sciences schools of VCU, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org
About Richmond Public Schools
Richmond Public Schools (RPS) serves over 24,000 students, representing the region’s diverse socioeconomic mix comprised of 26 elementary schools, including one charter school, seven middle schools, five comprehensive high schools and three specialty schools. RPS has an expansive International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Lucille Brown Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School as well as the region’s first IB Primary Years Program (PYP) at Chimborazo Elementary School. U. S. News and World Report ranked Richmond Community and Open high schools among the state’s top public high schools with Franklin Military Academy being recognized as the nation’s first public military school.
To learn more, visit: rvaschools.net or keep up on social media at
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