Idaho Falls School District 91 teachers and administrators received training Tuesday at Linden Park Elementary School they’ll hopefully never have to use.
In a crowded classroom of about 25 Linden Park staffers, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center trainers taught local teachers and administrators how to stop bleeding in case of a serious accident or shooting.
During the hour-long session, staffers applied tourniquets, combat gauze and physical pressure to beige and hot pink foam noodles with holes in them. One teacher put the tourniquet on their right leg, as four EIRMC trainers organized and instructed groups of up to five.
“It’s going to be uncomfortable,” an EIRMC assistant told a group of participants as they practiced putting gauze in a bullet hole-shaped wound.
“Well, unfortunately it’s necessary,” Linden Park principal Kristoffer Smith said. “I wish it wasn’t necessary, but it is, and our main priority in schools is to keep kids safe. Hopefully this is training we’ll never need to use, but it’s important to have.
“There are a lot of cases that happen that are accidental, so having a basic level of first aid and safety training is critical for accidents that could happen.”
Before Linden Park staffers went through the hands-on training, EIRMC’s ICU and Trauma Program Director Kristi Caldera demonstrated the step-by-step process of how to efficiently stop bleeding in case of an emergency via a PowerPoint presentation.
The PowerPoint showed images of deep cuts and holes, as Caldera used the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting as an example of what to do in case someone nearby is wounded: call 911; spot the injury/bleeding and compress with physical pressure and/or tourniquet.
“We just want to give you a bit of knowledge so you can do the best you can in a terrible situation,” Caldera said. “Our goal is to train everyone on how to stop life-threatening bleeding.”
Linden Park was EIRMC’s final D91 training session, as the federal-level program is next headed to Bonneville Joint School District 93.
EIRMC recently equipped each D91 school with tourniquets and control kits (gauze and instructions on how to stop bleeding). The supplies cost more than $10,000, EIRMC spokeswoman Coleen Niemann said.
“Hopefully this is training they never have to use,” District 91 Safe Schools Coordinator Rebecca Chidester said. “We see it as a part of a larger system to keep our schools safe.”