AUSTIN, Texas — Organizers of the national Stop the Bleed campaign are working to make sure there are enough people who know how to control a bleeding wound, where there is a medical emergency.

  • Nurses learned how to apply a tourniquet
  • Training was free
  • 150 people were at event

Now, Ascension Seton nurses who work in Austin Independent School District are learning those skills.

Brittany Bartek has never had to actually apply a tourniquet on a severe wound, and hopefully she will never have to. But, the Austin native said she is confident in her ability to do so, thanks in part, to a free training at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. Bartek is a nurse at a local middle school.

“The students I get to work with as well as the staff are really important. My job is to keep them healthy and to keep them safe, as well," Bartek said. “I’m thankful that I’m able to take these skills and knowledge into the school setting.”

Friday, Brittany joined other Ascension Seton nurses and school resource officers to learn techniques to control severe bleeding. There were about 150 people at the event. Claire Zagorski of Longhorn Stop the Bleed brought the program to UT after the stabbing death of her classmate Harrison Brown.  The training also comes in the wake the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

“Unfortunately this is becoming more and more part of reality, and I want everyone to be equipped to know this so that whether it’s a school shooting or you get into car accident, you know what to do to save lives,” Zagorski said.

"They wanted Stop the Bleed, STB, to be as ubiquitous as CPR. So if I said, 'go get the STB kit to a teacher,' they would know exactly what I meant and we would have a kit available. They would go get it and we would be able to apply it and save a life. That's our goal," said Patricia Afdams, a school nurse.

Experts from Stop the Bleed said in order to immediately respond, remember the ABC's. Alert the authorities, be able to see the bleed injury, and compress.

Austin ISD nurses practiced packing a wound and applying direct pressure. Organizers said taking these steps in the seconds before paramedics arrive are critical. Commander Keith Noble of Austin-Travis County EMS said people could bleed out as quickly as two minutes.

"It happens very quickly that's why we need the bystanders' help and the public's help, because we can't be there that quickly."

“I don’t believe that life saving measures start in the hospital, but they start in our community,” Bartek said.