Trauma kits donated to Gillett schools

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Law enforcement, others work to equip, train school employees

Warren Bluhm,

Posing with materials donated by the Regional Trauma Advisory Council are, from left, Ron Lenz, Gillett School Board president; Superintendent Todd Carlson; Todd Orlik of Gillett Area Ambulance; Dave Taylor of RTAC; and Theresa Johnson and Kiaya Doll of Gillett Area Ambulance. (Times Herald photo by Warren Bluhm)

The Northeast Regional Trauma Advisory Council has donated 56 emergency first-aid kits, and the training on how to use them, to help the Gillett School District be prepared for the unthinkable.

Dave Taylor, coordinator of the regional council, told the Gillett School Board on Thursday that he has been working with Oconto County Chief Deputy Ed Janke and other local leaders to develop training efforts aimed at helping law enforcement, emergency medical services and fire personnel work together in case of a major event like a bleacher collapse or an active shooter.

“So if something happens in a school, law enforcement mitigates the threat but then brings in public safety right behind to get to the patients so we can start doing care right away,” Taylor said.

They had been working to provide schools with basic first aid and training in Stop the Bleed, a nationwide effort to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives, he said.

“I came up with this pipe dream that I want to train every teacher in every school and get every teacher the equipment they would need in case something would happen in the region,” Taylor said.

The council partnered with a group called Citizen Aid, which provides education and equipment for schools, to obtain a grant for the emergency kits. School personnel will also get access to free one-hour education to go online “and see really what the worst day of your life is going to look like, some of the things that are going to happen,” he said.

The kit includes a nylon blanket, compression bandages, a tourniquet, antiseptic wipes, gloves and an instruction guide.

“It’s not meant to scare you, but it really is to make you more comfortable with something that’s going to be horrific,” Taylor said.

Tracy Ondik, training officer for Gillett Area Ambulance, told the board that large-scale training exercises, like the one recently staged at Oconto Falls High School, help agencies understand what could go right or wrong.

“With every drill or every exercise, you’re identifying weak points, strength and weaknesses, so you want to address those types of things in mini-drills prior to having the next great big one,” Ondik said. “We have a very strong fire, EMS and law enforcement connection in our county, and that’s why, as Dave said, it’s been going so well.”

Taylor said the county in one way is a national leader.

“Oconto County is the first county that will be completely covered with a kit in every classroom and the teacher have the ability to go through training and have the community to do Stop the Bleed in the country,” he said. “To have a county do everything, all as one, says a lot.”