ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
It was last Valentine's Day that a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 people dead. Now teachers in Broward County are preparing to become first responders. They're learning how to treat gunshot wounds in classrooms. Jessica Bakeman of member station WLRN explains how the Stop the Bleed campaign is one community's response to the massacre nine months ago.
JESSICA BAKEMAN, BYLINE: Candace Pineda has been training teachers and school staff all around Broward County on how to control life-threatening bleeding.
CANDACE PINEDA: So I will warn you. We're talking about blood. So there will be a few pictures of blood. Blood is not for everybody.
BAKEMAN: Pineda is the administrative director of trauma surgery at a hospital in Hollywood, Fla. She showed the teachers how to put tourniquets on themselves.
PINEDA: OK, so you're going to place the tourniquet on your arm or leg.
BAKEMAN: The White House launched the national Stop the Bleed campaign a few years ago in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting. The idea is it only takes three to five minutes for a gunshot victim to bleed out. But if it's not a fatal wound, like the person's arm or leg was hit, stopping the bleed can save a life. Since Parkland nine months ago, local leaders in Broward County have expedited plans to train every teacher and put a bleeding control kit with tourniquets and gauze in every public school.
JULIE OSHEROFF: Any of these kind of trainings kind of just makes it very real that we could be in this situation.
BAKEMAN: Julie Osheroff teaches fourth grade at a Broward elementary school. She felt conflicted about taking on the new responsibility.
OSHEROFF: When I went to school to become a teacher, I was not signing up to be a paramedic or to be a police officer.
BAKEMAN: For her, the training was a bit overwhelming. But she says she now feels empowered to help if there's an emergency. Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, it's felt personal for a lot of teachers.
PINEDA: There is a lot of emotion to it. It is too raw and too fresh. And so we tried to lighten up some of the trainings with some humor.
BAKEMAN: Here's how Pineda tries to make the heavy topic a little bit funny during this training for 85 teachers at a Broward elementary school.
PINEDA: If you've only ever seen it on "MacGyver" or in some movie, now is not the time to take a stick and a piece of gum and duct tape and make your own tourniquet.
BAKEMAN: More than 7,000 teachers in Broward have already received the training, and it's possible all teachers in Florida, the third-most populous state, could have to learn.
MAX SCHACHTER: Unfortunately, our first responders are our regular citizens, the 330 million Americans.
BAKEMAN: Max Schachter lost his son Alex at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. He's on a state commission created by the Florida Legislature to investigate what went wrong leading up to and following February 14.
SCHACHTER: We cannot have that mindset that I'm just going to wait for law enforcement to arrive; I'm just going to wait till the paramedics arrive.
BAKEMAN: The commission is putting together a report with recommendations for how to prevent and prepare for future school shootings, including making Stop the Bleed training and kits mandatory. The report is likely to influence policy around the country as education leaders prepare for the possibility that the next mass shooting could be in their school.
SCHACHTER: We know that the next murderer is out there. His weapon is already out there. So we know this is going to happen again. And we need to enlist all Americans to help us save lives.
BAKEMAN: Because of Schachter's activism and others, Marjory Stoneman Douglas is now ahead of other schools. It has a Stop the Bleed kit in every classroom. For NPR News, I'm Jessica Bakeman in Miami.
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