WDM EMS launches first Stop the Bleed Program in Iowa
A news conference was recently held in the Council Chambers at City Hall to announce a new partnership to bring the first Stop the Bleed program to Iowa. This national initiative was launched by the Department of Homeland Security to train and equip people who find themselves in an emergency with a person experiencing serious bleeding.
The West Des Moines Emergency Medical Services Department, UnityPoint Health-Des Moines Trauma Services, Mercy Des Moines Trauma Services and The Iowa Clinic will work to equip residents with the knowledge and tools (tourniquets, bandages and gloves) to stop life-threatening bleeding which can happen from natural and man-made disasters as well as everyday accidents.
Jeff Dumermuth, Chief of Emergency Medical Services for WDM, said the group’s goal is to offer training to citizens and businesses in West Des Moines as part of their public education initiatives such as CPR and Public Access Defibrillation training and the use of bicycle helmets.
“We hope the skills that control bleeding will become as widely known as the skills of CPR and using an automated defibrillator,” he said.
The initial organizations participating in the program will be Guide One Insurance, Jordan Creek Town Center, West Des Moines Community Schools, the City of West Des Moines, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company and Des Moines Area Community College’s West Campus. Staff at these locations will participate in a 20-30 minute class on stopping bleeding.
“Our goal is to improve the public’s awareness and increase access to bleeding control kits. This awareness and training can truly mean the difference between life and death,” said Dr. Richard Sidwell, Trauma Surgeon with The Iowa Clinic and Iowa Methodist Medical Center/Blank Children’s Hospital.
While the Stop the Bleed partnership is currently focused on West Des Moines, officials hope to expand the program throughout the area.
If you’re interested in learning more or participating in the Stop the Bleed program, contact West Des Moines Emergency Medical Services at (515) 273-0768.