Keala Roy says saving someone's life is a "pretty phenomenal" feeling.

It's among the reasons why the nurse and emergency room manager for Memorial Community Hospital and Health System (MCH&HS) in Blair is excited about bringing the national Stop the Bleed program to the community as part of its efforts to continue to educate the public on a range of topics.

Public education is a requirement of the hospital's Level 4 trauma designation, Roy said.

"This year, I was trying to think about what I wanted to do for education," she said. "The last couple of years, we just did Facebook postings on drowning, but this year, I wanted to do something bigger."

Motivated by the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting and multiple other tragedies in recent years, Stop the Bleed was organized by what has become known as the Hartford Consensus.

The leaders of the group come from the law enforcement, federal government and the medical communities

The goal of the program is to improve survivability from manmade or natural mass casualty events. Organizers said the resulting injuries from such events generally present severe bleeding which, if left unattended can result in death. The leaders concluded that by providing first responders and bystanders with basic tools to stop uncontrolled bleeding in an emergent situation, lives would be saved.

Roy said many people know basic first aid skills and she hopes to expand on that by offering this program. Among the lessons taught in the program are how to apply a tourniquet or properly apply pressure to an area.

"This is excellent basic training that can be used in a multitude of situations," she said. "The initiative started due to a tragedy, but the techniques taught can be used for hunting, fishing, and farming accidents. I would love to have the civilian population be comfortable with preforming this life saving technique and be confident they could use it in case of tragedy."

The progression of the Stop the Bleed program across the country made it a good program to bring to the area, Roy said.

"They are trying to show that, as a civilian, everybody can learn how to stop the bleed and you might be able to save a life," she said.

Roy and Angie Livingston, medical surgery manager, received their training from the FEMA Decon program in 2018 and will be the coordinators of the effort’s for MCH&HS. They will work with staff from Creighton University Medical Center Bergan-Mercy Hospital.

Roy and Livingston kicked off their education efforts with Blair Community Schools administrators recently.

"Overall, it went very well," Roy said.

She and Livingston will be returning to train teachers and staff members before school begins in August. Roy said she'll also be working with the Arlington and Tekamah-Herman school districts and has reached to Fort Calhoun Community Schools about offering the program.

Soon, she hopes to begin offering classes to community members.

"I feel like this is something that anybody and everybody could learn," she said. "I'm excited to be part of the education and Stop the Bleed movement."

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