Congressional staffers get lifesaving skills in 'Stop the Bleed' class

Congressional staffers get lifesaving skills in 'Stop the Bleed' class
© Greg Nash

Staffers on Capitol Hill took part in a special program on Monday aimed at teaching them trauma skills to use in emergency situations.

Seventy-seven staffers participated in the "Stop the Bleed" program, a 30-minute class taught by members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

The event was sponsored by Rep. Mike ThompsonCharles (Mike) Michael ThompsonMcCarthy joins push asking Trump for more wildfire aid in California California wildfires prompt deficit debate in Congress House Dems press Trump on bump stocks ban MORE (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

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“This training is essential to ensure bystanders can become responders in emergency situations with traumatic injuries,” Thompson told The Hill.

"As chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, I am doing everything I can to raise awareness on how to respond to and prevent gun violence, including ensuring people have the knowledge and skills about how to respond and potentially save a life,” he added.

The program teaches participants emergency skills to help stop bleeding as well as how to interact with victims of violence or accidents to "potentially save a life."

“Tragedy can happen at any moment,” said Blair Wriston, a legislative aide to Rep. A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinVirginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence Trump, Obamas and Clintons among leaders mourning Aretha Franklin Overnight Energy — Presented by Chevron — Watchdog to look into Zinke deal with oil exec | Perry concedes Iran sanctions could raise oil prices | GOP chair pushing ahead with probe into green groups MORE (D-Va.). “I thought it would be beneficial to take this course to learn about the training necessary to help save a life.”

According to organizers, 180,000 people die each year from traumatic incidents such as shootings, accidents, motor vehicle crashes and natural disasters. Many of these deaths could be avoided if people were trained to stop the blood loss that often leads to death, they said.

The program was created by the Department of Homeland Security to train nonmedical members of the public.

"As we work to bring the Stop the Bleed program to communities around the world, it's encouraging to see Congressional leaders and their staff becoming Stop the Bleed trained," said American College of Surgeons Executive Director David Hoyt in a statement.

ACS has held Stop the Bleed seminars on Capitol Hill before and according to the group have "trained more than 18 members of Congress and more than 200 Congressional staffers.”

“Anyone that's interested in getting the training themselves through the American College of Surgeons and the Committee on Trauma can search for a training course in their state through the bleedingcontrol.org website," said Dr. Alistair Kent, an instructor at the event.