Gardens staff trains for active shooter: ‘If you can get out, get out’


Highlights

The active shooter and bleeding control training was for all 340 part-time and full-time employees.

A tourniquet could save someone’s life and won’t necessarily cost them a limb, trainer David Summers said.

Palm Beach Gardens staff started preparing for the unthinkable but all-too-common scenario: a shooter starts indiscriminately spraying bullets on an otherwise routine day.

RELATED: Gardens paramedics train as police for SWAT calls

On Tuesday, a police officer and a trauma nurse teamed up to teach all 340 employees what to do in case of an active shooter and how to stop life-threatening bleeding before the paramedics arrive. Every employee from golf instructor to city clerk completed the two-hour training session offered at various times the past two weeks.

RELATED: Gardens cops’ quick action saves man from bleeding to death

“The topic of an active shooter is a little morbid, but it is something that we have to contend with, especially in 2018,” Palm Beach Gardens Police Capt. Robert Wilson said.

Last year, when a gunman fatally shot 58 people at a country concert in Las Vegas, it was the deadliest for mass shootings in modern U.S. history. Two sisters from Wellington were among those at the concert, but they survived with the help of a Marine who commandeered a pickup truck to shuttle the wounded to safety. That kind of bystander intervention is becoming more common, Wilson said.

There’s no mistaking the loud sound of gunfire, and if there’s an active shooter, it will be repetitive, Wilson said. The options are to run, hide or fight.

“If you can get out, get out,” he urged.

But, he said, they should have a plan. He advised people to take note of the two closest exits wherever they go. If they do find themselves trapped, they should lock or block the door, turn out the lights and make sure their cell phones are on silent.

When police arrive, their focus will be on stopping the shooter before they start tending to the wounded, he said. Palm Beach Gardens has SWAT medics, firefighter-paramedics who cross train with police. Those paramedics are outfitted with ballistics gear and can treat the injured immediately.

Time is of the essence when people are rapidly losing blood. David Summers, a trauma nurse outreach coordinator with the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, taught the staff how to apply pressure and stop bleeding themselves with a tattered shirt or whatever they have on hand. Employees practiced applying tourniquets to one another.

“Seeing and doing it hands on is definitely a good exercise,” said Alana Ramai, a human resources coordinator.

The techniques aren’t just for the aftermath of mass shootings, Summers said. They’re useful for treating serious cuts at work, stopping bleeding at the scene of a car crash and even saving limbs if a snorkeler or diver is hit by a boat, he said.

A long-held assumption that the use of a tourniquet would require the amputation of the limb isn’t actually true, Summers said. If a surgeon can treat the injury within two to six hours of applying the tourniquet. It could be the difference between life and death.

Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue is working to have “stop the bleeding” kits in each of the 30 or so automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, in city buildings, Summers said. With the training, all employees will know how to use them.

“The more you know, the more you can help,” Community Services Administrator David Reyes said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Supermarket ‘renewal’: Winn-Dixie remake adapts to Lantana changes
Supermarket ‘renewal’: Winn-Dixie remake adapts to Lantana changes

Winn-Dixie unveiled its remodeled Lantana store on May 17 with fanfare — a high school marching band, gift cards, specials and a cake. The 59-year-old Winn-Dixie location now boasts, among other features, a smokehouse serving slow-cooked chicken, ribs and brisket as well as a broader selection of wines, sustainably-sourced seafood and more space...
Suit: District denied overtime pay to school bus drivers for years
Suit: District denied overtime pay to school bus drivers for years

Five Palm Beach County school bus drivers say that the school district systematically denied them overtime pay for at least two years as they worked long hours transporting children. In a federal lawsuit filed last week, the drivers allege that they routinely worked 50 hours a week and were legally entitled to higher overtime wages for the last 10...
Philip Roth dead at 85: Writers, public figures remember Pulitzer Prize-winning author
Philip Roth dead at 85: Writers, public figures remember Pulitzer Prize-winning author

Philip Roth – the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "American Pastoral" and other highly acclaimed works such as "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Human Stain" and "The Plot Against America" – has died of congestive heart failure, The Associated Press reported late Tuesday. He was 85. Fellow writers...
Milkweed feasting more than you realize
Milkweed feasting more than you realize

As we all strive to get our hands on every native milkweed for our states and to the ultimate benefit of the Monarch butterfly I thought I might plug its use for the other guys. Your first thought might be I’m talking about the Queen or Soldier butterflies that are related to the Monarch and also must have milkweeds as larval host plants. That&rsquo...
Sons and Daughters of Italy award scholarships to high school seniors
Sons and Daughters of Italy award scholarships to high school seniors

PALM BEACH COUNTY SCHOOLS FAITH LUTHERAN SCHOOL A fundraiser, Dog Days of Summer, takes place 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 2 at the school, 555 U.S. 1, North Palm Beach. Activities include a dog wash, bounce house, a midway for kids, fitness demonstrations for people and dogs, free blood pressure screenings, auctions and raffles and refreshments. ALLAMANDA ELEMENTARY...
More Stories