A program called Stop the Bleed started in other parts of the country following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Trainings here in North Texas began days after the Dallas police shooting -- not as a result, but there is certainly an urgency to get more officers in the classroom.
As we watched injured Dallas officers being rushed into emergency rooms on July 7, some victims arrived with tourniquets, but not all were correctly applied.
That’s what makes this lesson so critical. Thanks to federal funding approved late last year, officers at trauma hospitals including Baylor Scott & White, are now getting life-saving healthcare training.
“Going with the times, it's what we need -- that added security measure to help the public and help ourselves,” said Officer Emily Baker with Baylor Scott & White Health Public Safety.
Since training began last week, more than 100 Baylor officers and security guards have learned how to apply tourniquets out in the field in order to stop bleeding in mass shooting or disaster situations.
“We're often the first people on the scene and I think it's important for us to know how to stop the bleeding to enhance life,” said Corporal Gregory Jones, who has worked in law enforcement for nearly 30 years.
For Officer Baker, the lessons from today’s training were new. She, like others, is familiar with basic First Aid from the police academy -- so she knows CPR and can handle a defibrillator. This is different.
“This is an added tool,” said Officer Baker, whose husband is also a law enforcement officer. “If we can't get someone to our emergency department or medical attention, then we can address it.”
In the last 15 years, 35 percent of mass shooting victims in the U.S. died before getting to a hospital because they lost too much blood.
Trauma Nurse Karen Mynar teaches the two-hour classes. She wants to arm officers with the knowledge and equipment to help save the lives of shooting victims if it becomes necessary. In addition to tourniquet training, Mynar is teaching officers how to fill open wounds.
“A lot of it is not complicated,” said Mynar, who works at Baylor Scott & White in Dallas. “It's just being told once or shown once so you can have that empowerment to do something so you don't feel helpless in a bad situation."
Baylor Scott & White is in the process of buying tourniquets for every DART officer. The idea would be for law enforcement to wear them since they don’t always have a chance to run back to their patrol units and grab a First Aid kit.
Mynar told News 8 she will train hundreds of officers in the next month. Her hope is to expand the training to other law enforcement, DISD teachers, nurses, bus drivers and eventually the general public.