In the wake of another tragic school shooting, how can we build community preparedness?

The school shooting in Parkland, Florida is the latest in a series of violent events that give us cause to consider how prepared we are to react if we were faced with such a situation. At B2 Products we grieve for those lost in Parkland. We offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for the families of the victims and for the community at large as they suffer through this most recent example of evil in the world. 

Tragedies like this lead to questions about why it happened and how we as a society can prevent it from happening again. Equally important however, is another question: “what are we doing to prepare for the next time something like this happens?” In 2013, just months following the school shooting in Newtown, CT the first meeting of the group responsible for the Hartford Consensus convened (see https://www.facs.org/about-acs/hartford-consensus). Their earliest recommendations included training all first responders in bleeding control techniques. In 2015 they published the Hartford Consensus III, which spelled out the importance of training and equipping the first, first responder - the citizen bystander - to control life-threatening bleeding. From this recommendation several training programs and public access to bleeding control supplies initiatives have begun to pop up all over the country. The momentum behind these initiatives underscores their importance and also provides an opportunity for us in EMS to engage our communities and build resilience from the ground up.

Our communities become stronger when we train our citizens to help. Every police, fire and EMS agency in the country should be looking at how they can help to implement the Hartford Consensus recommendations locally and build resiliency by empowering citizens to take action when it’s needed most. If you’re a decision-maker in your agency or a field provider looking to make a difference, consider offering a BCon course or something similar. Consider supporting a public access to bleeding control supplies program. Consider what you can do to make your community just a little bit stronger and more prepared in the event that the next national tragedy is closer to home. 

Check out these resources for more information about programs available in your area: 

www.bleedingcontrol.org    
www.stopthebleedday.org
https://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives

Or you can contact me.  I’ll be happy to help you set up a program in your own community. 

One of the most productive ways to honor those lost to tragic violence is to respond in a way that makes our communities less vulnerable in the future.  Don’t wait for someone else to do it, start thinking about how you’re going to train and prepare your community members today.

 Josh Beaulieu

Co-Founder / Chief Product Officer     
B2 Products
Tolland, CT

Josh Beaulieu, BS, EMTP, co-founder of B2 Products LLC, has been a licensed practicing paramedic for 20 years and currently leads EMS for a small city fire department in CT.