Memorial receives grant for bleed control training for schools

CHESTER – Memorial Hospital in Chester, Ill. is the recipient of an Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) 2023-2024 EMS Education Mini Awards grant. Through the grant, Memorial is providing bleed control training and kits to all schools in the Chester and Steeleville school districts.

From left are Tim Blair, Assistant Principal at CGS; Kim Ruebke, Trainer, and ER Nurse Manager; Deb Mevert, OR Nurse Manager; Adrienne Caby, Surgery RN; Megan Berkbuegler, Surgery RN; Mariah Bargman, Community Relations Coordinator; Kimberly Briggs, Superintendent; Jeremy Blechle, Principal CHS. Not pictured: Joetta McFarland, Surgery RN and Kelly Jany, MSU Nurse Manager

Bleed control training at the schools provides staff with hands-on education on what they can do in an emergency, while they wait for help to arrive. Certified, Stop the Bleed trainer and Memorial’s ER Nurse Manager, Kim Ruebke is lead instructor for the training events. With the assistance of Deb Mevert, OR Nurse Manager, and Mariah Bargman, Community Relations Coordinator and BLS Instructor, the goal is to have all schools trained by the start of the 2024-2025 school year. The team conducted their first training event for the Chester Unit School District 139 staff for the public High School and Elementary School on March 22. Additional Memorial employees from the surgical and nursing departments assisted with the hands-on training for the large group.

Through grant funding, training manikins to simulate real-life scenarios were purchased and enough supplies to create 200 kits for the schools. Upon completion of the training, schools are provided with multiple bleed control kits which contain 2 tourniquets, gauze, tape, and supplies. This project helps create first responders in each school to help in a trauma event and gives them the skills to intervene until help arrives. During the training, staff learn how to properly pack wounds, apply tourniquets, and how to use alternative materials to make tourniquets. This type of training can be used for any type of injury which could cause the loss of blood, from punctures to large gashes.

Memorial Hospital works with the schools in Chester and Steeleville to provide CPR training and re-certification annually, this additional bleed control training adds another layer of life support response to their repertoire.

“As partners in building a healthier community, we work with schools to provide them with resources they need to ensure a safe and secure environment for their children,” says Bargman. “We are grateful for this grant and to be able to provide the schools with these lifesaving tools and training. We hope they never need them, but through training and exercise it helps ensure they are prepared for an emergency.”