Lt. Dan Williams with Trauma Kit

A new program taking hold across the country aims to turn everyday citizens into “First Care Providers” in the wake of active shooter threats and other mass casualty incidents.

The Stop The Bleed campaign was developed following The Hartford Consensus, a collaboration among the American College of Surgeons, the medical community, and federal officials. The Consensus recognized that people continue to die from afflictions that are savable, and trained civilians may be the key to increasing the chances of survival from intentional mass casualties like school shootings.

Over 120 nurses and security staff from the Madison Metropolitan School District recently gathered in a conference room to learn how they can be a critical link in the chain of survival during an active shooter event.

First Care Providers are people already on scene who can step in immediately when they recognize a life threat.

“Intervention is necessary within seconds to minutes in order to prevent irreversible harm,” said Lieutenant/Paramedic Dan Williams, who led the training.

By the time first responders get to a scene and access patients experiencing severe bleeding, it may be too late. That’s why, Lt. Williams explains, it’s important to have more First Care Providers who can control the bleeding until help arrives.

Life-threatening bleeding can occur in a variety of situations, like work-related injuries, home injuries, and motor vehicle crashes.

Although the Stop The Bleed campaign was developed in response to school shootings across the country—in particular the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut—trainees are reminded these skills can also be applied in other emergencies.

Presented with slides and videos, trainees learned which types of wounds are the most frequent causes of preventable death from injury and how to intervene. They also learned which types of bleeds cannot be stopped outside of the hospital and require immediate rapid transport.

Applying wound dressing to fake wound

Participants then had the opportunity to practice hands-on Stop The Bleed skills with mannequins, and on one another, under the guidance of MFD EMTs and Paramedics, assisted by Madison Police Officers and UW Health Trauma representatives. This was an important time to engage with emergency medical professionals about specific scenarios they might encounter and how to treat different types of wounds.

Locally, each school that has at least five people trained in Stop The Bleed will receive a free trauma kit with the appropriate supplies. These include tourniquets, bandages, wound-packing dressings, pressure dressings, and gloves that can be deployed during a mass casualty incident.

Without these supplies on hand, it would be impossible to treat multiple patients at the same time, something that is critical during a mass casualty incident.

Firefighters Le and Raddock demonstrate tourniquet application

“Applying a tourniquet allows you to manage an extremity wound in 20-30 seconds and frees you up to help the next victim. Without a tourniquet, you have to stand there and hold the pressure yourself,” Lt./PM Williams explained.

Prepared with this training and equipment, MMSD nurses and security staff are empowered to train others within their schools, spreading awareness about Stop The Bleed to teachers, custodians, cafeteria staff, and others.

For additional information about Stop The Bleed, visit

To learn more about hosting a Stop The Bleed class, contact Lt. Dan Williams.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Fire and a link back to the original post.