June 22, 2018

Bristol County launches new, free first-aid program that can keep injured people alive 'Until Help Arrives'

Posted by jdarling81

In the event of a medical or public safety emergency, it’s widely known that the first thing to do is call 911.

Then what?

A new program at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office focuses on filling that gap. Aimed at people who have little or no medical training, this new program could mean the difference between life and death.

The “Until Help Arrives” program trains people of all ages what to do in an emergency situation before the arrival of police, fire or EMS services. It covers everything from communicating with 911 dispatchers to how to stop bleeding, position an injured person or how to provide comfort to those in need.

“The average response time for EMS is 6-9 minutes, and that can be considerably shorter or longer depending on where the incident occurs,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson said. “This program teaches valuable, easy-to-learn skills that can keep people with life-threatening injuries alive until professional emergency responders arrive.”

The program is presented by Col. David Gavigan, the Director of Homeland Security at the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office. Col. Gavigan is certified by the Federal Emergency Management Association and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Association. Since launching at the end of 2017, Col. Gavigan has presented the class at senior centers, libraries, town halls and high schools.

“When the human body loses half its blood volume, it simply cannot survive. Depending on the emergency situation, that can happen in just minutes,” Col. Gavigan said. “This class gives everyone the tools and knowledge that may save a life prior to the arrival of first responders.”

Program participants will learn how to interact the 9-1-1 dispatcher, how and when to move and re-position an injured person, and how to stop life-threatening bleeding by applying pressure or using a tourniquet, among other topics.

The program is especially helpful to beginners or those with little or no first aid training.

The program is free and available to every school, community or business group in Bristol County and Southeastern Mass. It was developed by national organizations such as the Center for Disease Control, Medical Reserve Corps., American Heart Association, American Medical Association, FEMA and others.

For more information or to schedule “Until Help Arrives,” contact Col. Gavigan at 508-995-1311 ext. 2594 or via email at DavidGavigan@bcso-ma.org.

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