Lakeland High School gets dozens of emergency trauma kits
By Dean S. Acheson
MINOCQUA – Saving lives comes in a bright red bag about the size of an extra large shaving kit. Packaged within the bag is an emergency response trauma kit.
Lakeland Union High School resource officer William (Bill) Trojan went the extra mile to ensure each classroom at Lakeland now has a trauma kit. “I’d rather have something we never need, to not have something we might need,” the police officer said of the 75 trauma kits he’s put together.
It’s a sign of the times that multiple shootings – especially devastating at schools – are far too often regular occurrences in America.
Severely wounded victims can die before help arrives because police have to secure buildings before paramedics can enter. It can take many minutes, even hours, before professionals can reach a victim. Left untreated, however, a person can bleed to death in minutes from a gunshot or other wound to a femoral artery.
But the injured stand a better chance of survival if treated quickly by a trained citizen with access to a trauma kit.
The community responds
Seeing the acute need for trauma kits, Trojan turned to the community for help. He collected more than $6,000 in donated cash and medical supplies for the trauma kits.
“I went out, contacted some local businesses, gave shout-outs to some friends, and I got a bunch of donations to build trauma kits for every classroom,” Trojan told the school board recently. Kits are also in the field house, commons area, administrative offices and at the Star Academy building.
Marshfield Clinic donated $1,000 in cash and another $1,000 of medical products. Another $2,000 in medical supplies came from Howard Young-Ascension. Walmart designated a $2,000 community grant for the project. Allied 100 plans to donate an AED (automated external defibrillator) wall cabinet that will also have bleed control kits. A woman from Tomahawk also donated when she heard about the campaign.
More than a first-aid kit
Trojan estimates each bag contains about $75 worth of medical supplies. The trauma kits differ from typical first-aid kits, which are for minor cuts, burns and scrapes. They include tourniquets, cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) mask, gloves, three rolls of gauze, pressure dressings for gunshot wounds, nine packs of square shaped gauze, medical tape and a pair of trauma shears.
During an in-service for teachers and other staff last past fall, he and two medical representatives demonstrated proper methods to stop the bleeding, including how a tourniquet should be used in relation to where the deep cut or wound is on the body. Trojan plans to hold refresher sessions each year before the start of school.
“I said (to the staff) you’re not going to hurt anything in there,” he told board members. “Go through and get familiar with them because in an emergency your fine motor skills kind of go out the window. So the more you look at the stuff, the better you will be in knowing how to use it.”
Classroom teachers will alert their substitute teachers where the kits are kept. Students are not being trained in the trauma kit use, but, if needed, can assist as directed by an adult.
The veteran police officer said the trauma kits are not just for use during an emergency lock down. For example, someone could suffer a severe cut in a woods shop accident on a power saw. And every tornado alert brings the potential for walls collapsing or flying glass from blown out windows.
While concern over school shootings will forever be on the minds of school officials, they can take solace in knowing that they now have additional tools on hand to quickly tend to the wounded.
Additional layer of safety
Lakeland has taken other measures to ensure the safety of the 700 students and staff. They secured the main entrances, applied special entry resistant film on windows, placed large bollards in front of entrances to prevent cars from crashing through doors, and installed an alert system for individual classrooms. They also run adult visitors’ names through a red flag list.
Trojan and the maintenance director have also come up with a cable-locking device that will be installed on classroom doors. Teachers can quickly secure the doors in the event of an intruder alert. “They’re going to try the door a couple of times and move on,” he said of anyone trying to break in.
Woodruff Ace provided the cable and other items at cost, saving the district over $1,700, he said.