80 Area Citizens Learn How To “Stop The Bleed!”

(L to R) Amanda Reimer of West River Health Serivce demonstrates how to apply pressure to different kinds of wounds to Carly Pallart and Mike Herrick of Hettinger. (Record Photo by Frank Perea II)

A month ago, the Foundation at West River Health Services was contacted by Dr. Mary Aaland about possibly hosting a “Stop The Bleed” event in Hettinger, where local rural citizens could be educated in an hour about stopping the bleed.

WRHS Foundation

Once we heard that the American College of Surgeons would supply 50 FREE “Stop The Bleed” kits for the first 50 to register; that Dr. Aaland would teach the class herself; that the executive director of the Surgeons Foundation would be attending from Chicago; and that we’d be the first in the state of North Dakota to host a ‘Stop The Bleed” event, we were definitely on board. We immediately began hitting the streets and the local newspapers and radios, trying to convince 50 area citizens to attend North Dakota’s first-ever “Stop The Bleed” event in Hettinger. Within a few weeks, we had over 50 signed up! Therefore, we convinced our WRHS Foundation Board of Directors to finance stop the bleed kits for people over the 50 mark who attend the workshop. Good thing we did this, as we got another 30 to attend!

Even though there were numerous events happening all throughout the area, 80 people attended this inaugural “Stop The Bleed” event! What a remarkable showing of support – for the safety of our community; to hear the totally believable Dr. Mary Aaland present seven “Stop The Bleed” workshops; and to learn the practical hands-on instruction of applying a tourniquet and “stuffing the hole” from local  healthcare personnel Beth Reiten, Manette Obrigewitch, Amanda Reimer and Nolan Kleinjan. Citizens, ranging in age from 9 to 80, came from near and far, including Hettinger, Reeder, Lodgepole, Mott, Bowman, Scranton, Carson, Lemmon, Morristown, Meadow, and Bison.

In general, the eighty attendees all showed up in groups of 8-12, every half hour, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Their promptness was quite amazing! First, they all enjoyed a half hour power point presentation from Dr. Aaland. Her enthusiasm, passion and knowledge, had every citizen on the edge of their seat! Cookies via Kennedy’s and water provided by Amanda Reimer’s Massage business were enjoyed by everyone as well. Once having heard the “Stop The Bleed” presentation, the groups headed to the east-end conference room to view and participate in “hands-on” demonstrations on tourniquet application and “stuffing the hole” education. Once completed with both the presentation and the practical, the first 50 to register were handed their certificates and free kits (valued at $70 each). Keeping our word, the WRHS Foundation has ordered 30 more stop the bleed kits for the balance of the attendees. As soon as they are here, we will deliver them to each participant.

Overall, everything went quite smoothly. Dr. Aaland and Shane Holett, Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons Foundation, were most impressed with the location of the event (NDSU Hettinger Research & Extension Center), the citizen turnout, their sharing of experiences, and the terrific help from local volunteers.

The WRHS Foundation is most interested in hearing from people who might consider teaching this class (contact Ted at 701-567-3666), as we’d like to offer more workshops in the near future. After all, we want to get as many “Stop The Bleed” kits out to area communities as we can. Thank you to all participants, instructors, and supporters. Onward!