Students learn how to ‘Stop the Bleed’ in an emergency

Posted 11/26/19


More than two-dozen students enrolled in the Lifesaver program at Pilgrim High School participated in a special training session – dubbed “Stop the Bleed” – in the school …

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Students learn how to ‘Stop the Bleed’ in an emergency



More than two-dozen students enrolled in the Lifesaver program at Pilgrim High School participated in a special training session – dubbed “Stop the Bleed” – in the school library on Monday morning.

The training session, which is part of the nationwide program “Until Help Arrives,” was conducted in partnership with Kent County Hospital Emergency Department residents Landon Wood, Timothy Bikman and Kathryn Kelly, DO, who instructed the students on how to apply emergency first aid to a person who is in danger of bleeding to death.

During a brief slideshow presentation, Wood and Bikman gave the students several necessary tips on the basics of what to do in an emergency situation – even before giving first aid to the injured person.

Among those points were the importance of calling 911 first, ensuring their own safety before helping others, and positioning the injured person to help them breathe properly.

One important factor, Wood said, is paying special attention to the source of the bleeding, as the area of blood on a person’s clothing does not always specify the location of the wound.

Another important aspect of the training session involved being prepared ahead of time, such as knowing where the AED and bleeding control kits are located within buildings.

“Take note of these areas, because if something happens and you know where that kit is, you could save a life,” Wood said.

The students received hands-on training by applying tourniquets to foam models of legs with large wounds, and, supervised by Kelly in an adjacent room, learned the techniques of CPR on mannequins.

When applying the tourniquets, the students learned they are useful for arms and legs, but should never be applied on the neck.

Additionally, the tourniquets needed to be placed 2 to 3 inches above the wound – never on the wound itself, Bikman said.

The lifesaving skills can be used anywhere at any time. Bikman, Kelly and Wood repeatedly encouraged the students to not be afraid to put their skills into action if the need arises.

“You have the skills, you have the ability. Don’t hesitate to use them,” Wood said.

Bikman concurred: “Sometimes the person won’t do well, and that’s OK, because you gave them a chance.”

Both Kelly and Pilgrim High School physical education teacher Lisa Tamburini, who created the Lifesaver program three years ago, were impressed by the students’ enthusiasm to learn the first aid skills.

The physical education semester elective has become so in-demand that Tamburini said there is a wait list for other students.

“They love it,” she said. “They absolutely love it.”

One student, Grace Atwood, had already taken the lifesaving skills she learned – such as how to help a person who is choking – to heart.

“I baby-sit, and I’d want to know how to deal with that situation, because it’s the most common,” she said.

Superintendent Dr. Philip Thornton was joined by other school administrators to watch the training session.

“It’s wonderful,” Thornton said. “In 2019, unfortunately, we have to account and train for every occurrence … we have to have the knowledge for situations that can and do occur all over the nation.”

In case of an emergency situation at school, there is an app for smartphones, Rave, which improves response time for emergency management officials with just one push of a button.

However, in the two years since the app has been available, Thornton said that only 53 percent of the staff in the district have this free app on their phones.

The app is not a way for the administration to “track” its employees, Thornton said – rather, it is meant to help those caught in a dire situation.

“I personally can’t think of any argument of why you would not want to have that on your phone,” he said.

At 83 percent, Holliman Elementary School has the highest percentage of educators with the app installed on their phones, with Veterans Memorial Middle School being the lowest, at 35 percent.

Beginning in January, there will be a Lifesaver II course, titled “When Help Is Delayed.” At the start of the next school year, Lifesaver classes III and IV will be added.

A grant from the American College of Emergency Physicians of an undisclosed amount helped to fund this program.

For more information, visit


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  • Apollo

    Good to learn the basics.

    The human adult has approx. 1.5 gallons of blood. If you loose .53 you die. So a little over a half gallon. Pumps out fast if you sever a major artery.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2019 Report this

  • bill123

    Superintendent Dr. Philip Thornton mentions something called the Rave app, apparently from Who is this company ? I counted 39 “awards” on the company’s award page. Amazing. The company claims the “Rave Panic Button clearly communicates an emergency to 9-1-1, on-site personnel, and first responders. As a result, response times are shortened and first responder safety is improved.” However, this app appears to be undercutting the implementation and purpose of E911 ( If you have a cell phone, how can using an uncertified app, instead of making a direct call to a real person on an E911 system, possibly be more effective ? This needs to be explained. Why are the school administrators promoting this app ? This is not the first time their actions come under question (see comments to Beacon article “Bugs Bunny captures attention at Holliman veterans ceremony”)

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Cat2222

    @bill123 - There are two distinct advantages of Rave over 911. The first is you only need to press 1 panic button to get connected instead of dialing. The second is you don't need to speak and possibly give your location away. You can text. Time and silence can be of the utmost importance in an active shooter emergency.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Dave Testa

    Bill123, The RAve App has been explained at least twice in the pages of the Beacon over the past year or two. I'm always amazed at how something like this can have suspect motives ascribed to it. Activating the App from your phone does not in any way, shape, or form, circumvent the 911 system. In addition to notifying 911 immediately, it also alerts on-duty officers, who also have the app on their phones, so they can respond immediately to the alert. In addition, other emergency services are notified like the WFD & Kent Hospital. It's important to know that the WPD is a very strong supporter of this system and the use of the App. Activating the App reduces the response time significantly compared to an individual dialing 911, talking to a "real person" and explaining the nature of the emergency - while in a high-anxiety, possibly panic inducing situation. Activating the Mutual Link system also gives first responders access to our building cameras so they can see what's going on inside the building in real time. With roughly half the overall district employees having the app on their phone (some schools are in the low - mid 30% participation and some at 80+% participation) I guess parents just have to hope that if, God forbid, an intruder enters their child's school building, the first district employee they encounter has the app on their phone. In a few buildings those chances are very good but in most others they are not. If we think student safety is paramount, then having this on your phone aligns with that and, other than not actually having a cell phone, there's no reason why it shouldn't be on every employee's phone. To me it's that simple...

    David Testa

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Apollo

    David Testa,

    Mutual Link is a waste of money. The city could save thousands by getting rid of it.

    Cell phones make that system redundant.

    It never has been used and never will.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Dave Testa


    Cell phones do not make it redundant for the reasons I gave as well as those from Cat2222's comments. That's kind of like saying 'I eat very healthy and exercise regularly so I don't need life insurance'. And it was used last year at Hoxsie School where a police chase ended up with the suspect running on to school grounds.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • bill123

    Dave Testa: An app designed to provide “access to our building cameras so [first responders] can see what's going on inside the building in real time” is a different subject, and was not addressed in this article. I do not search prior Beacon articles as you suggest, for the purpose of assembling together various statements (which many times are the reporter’s own opinion or statement, not the city’s), and infer the result is accurate, and can be added to a more recent article as if it was all written at the same time. If there is public information on a city website that you can point to, then that may help build a more complete picture of the building camera feature, if that’s relevant to this article.

    Regarding this article, and the app as discussed:

    There is an appearance the need for the app is based on emotion, not fact. On its face, requiring a dedicated app to essentially implement speed dial for 9-1-1 looks like serious overkill. If you want to text, you are pressing a lot more than one button anyway. The “Until Help Arrives” training material ( says you should call 9-1-1 directly, no app in between. If you text, RIDPS advises it “may not be as quick or efficient” (from a PDF on Text-to-911 capability, at It is unclear how the app would improve on this. It also should be mentioned that the state of RI has not properly funded E911 (search for April 2019 story “FCC urges RI to stop diverting 911 fees”). So we have an appearance E911 is not all it should be, because we (supposedly) need a 3rd party app as a supplement, and because E911 has funding issues. Add to that the fact that the 3rd party app is not part of the FEMA training. And the 2nd photo shows Mr. Thornton promoting the app. This really needs a complete and in-depth explanation, so I stand by my prior comment.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Apollo


    Did the mutual link camera assist in the arrest? Yes or No. Cell phones have texting, have voice, have cameras and picture taken ability. Everyone has one.

    Where is the evidence that this system developed only a few years ago, sold by a salesman to the city is worth it?

    How many other departments, cities and towns use it?

    I dont't know why there is such a defense for the system by you.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Apollo

    911 has text services now.

    911 is now properly funded with full staff.

    They hired sufficient employees. Remember the news story about people put on hold? The governor responded

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Dave Testa

    Bill123, you seem to be hung up on texting and I don;t know why. Again, the App does not circumvent the 911 system and allows for direct communication between the school dept and first responders faster than 911. Plus, it allows them to communicate with each other immediately and, though you seem to discount the feature, it allows them to coordinate using the cameras to assess and deal with the situation at hand.


    I don;t know if the camera caught the perp but what does that have to do with anything? If there was a shooter in a school, access to cameras allows police to see where the person is and can allow them to guide those not near him/her out of the building and to safety, rather than keeping everyone inside until the situation is resolved. Your 'salesman' crack makes it sound like the Fuller Brush salesrep came to the door and sold it. Ridisulous. Warwick was the first to adopt in RI, others are looking at it as well. I also believe that the State is looking at it as well. Warwick Mall also uses Mutual Link.

    Here's info on other places:

    Warwick: And this


    Seminole County Florida: - I think 3 or 4 other counties in Florida currently use it too.

    Texas City Independent School District:

    I defend the system because I believe it works. A school is a target rich environment for someone so inclined and the longer a perpetrator is in a building full of kids & staff, the worse the situation becomes. Getting first responders there faster and giving them instant access to what's going on inside the building improves the chances for fewer casualties. It's no different than insurance - something you pay for but hope to not have to use.

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • Apollo

    How much does it cost to have this added "insurance"

    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Report this

  • bill123

    David Testa: I think you overlooked the significant aspect of my comments. Besides that, there appears to be an issue larger than E911 and supplementary apps. You did not say, but I assume you are the same person as is on the school committee. That being the case, I expect our city officials to do more than provide newspaper articles as evidence of some accomplishment, yet, you do no more than that. This highlights a separate but serious problem with our city (and state) government. What should be open, transparent and attributable is not, and is instead obfuscated and insulated through 3rd party information providers.

    It looks like you are simply giving your personal opinion, not the school committee’s. You should have made this statement explicitly, given your position. This omission raises a question. You say “I defend the system”. Are you campaigning for re-election here, or does the school committee also “defend the system” ? If you want me or anyone else to adopt your position, then first, all the facts you want me to infer from the 3rd party information providers need to be somehow attributed to the city of Warwick. How can we do that ? The school committee, the superintendent, or someone acting in their official capacity can post a statement on the city website, stating the city purchased an app, who should use it and why, why it’s better than 911, and so forth. Presently the statement does not exist, or you have not pointed to one. That’s not a defense of the system. (ps - the PJ video you reference appears to be a static image, not a video)

    Thursday, November 28, 2019 Report this

  • bill123

    My concern is not just Mr. Testa's evasive and unverifiable explanation, but the lack of transparency in the technology itself. If it’s any indicator, trying to connect to is not a sure thing. I frequently get a “cannot connect” message. We should hope the panic-button app is more reliable. The real “panic” here belongs with the taxpayer, voter and resident.

    Friday, November 29, 2019 Report this

  • bill123

    This video shows the bad things can that happen when first responders take too long (9-1-1 is mentioned at 27 sec mark)

    Friday, November 29, 2019 Report this

  • Dave Testa

    bill123, first of all, I'm speaking for myself and myself only and am not campaigning for anything. At times I think your comments are somewhere 'out in the ether'. The Mutualink system was purchased before I was ever elected. At that time, I was a parent of two kids in our schools and I supported it. I did then and still do. The purchase of the system was public record, held in public meetings with public comment, and voted on publicly. At times I think you intimate that something other than an open process was used. None of the arguments made at that time, if I remember correctly, were ones that stated this system was necessary because of 911 problems or inadequacies. You continually reference the issues you have with the 911 system and have, I think, suggested that the system and the APP are superfluous because we have a 911 system. Further, the APP is not a community APP for anyone to add to their phone, hence your inability to connect to it. Nor is Mutialink a system for all city buildings. It's for school buildings and employees only. The video link you provide that "shows the bad things can that happen when first responders take too long" just reinforces the point of the system - which is that it reduces the response time by directly notifying the first responders in addition to routing through the 911 system. I provided news articles from other communities in other states that use it and you want me to somehow tie-in their rationale to Warwick's rationale for using it? I think it's pretty obvious and you completely misread the reason why I provided that info. Lastly, I apologize for the bad video link - I can see it when I cut and paste into my broswer and the video plays. . It's from Florida TV station WFTV9 and the video clip is titled "Teachers use app to give active shooter alerts in Central Florida"

    Friday, November 29, 2019 Report this

  • Apollo

    Again, what does the whole system cost the city?

    Second, the odds of something happening in quiet Warwick is remote.

    Friday, November 29, 2019 Report this

  • bill123

    David Testa: I assume we agree education and any associated safety-related issues are serious matters. The school committee has an oversight role (see RIGL 16-2-9). What I see here is a public official (you) publicly commenting on a matter falling under their oversight. If a member of the committee hears a concern from a member of the public, as you have here, then I believe that official has a duty to see the concerns are addressed. Simply providing a personal opinion, saying all is well, or, all is better than it ever was, without any evidence, doesn’t look anything like oversight to me. If you do not understand my statement (“out in the ether”), then you should ask for clarification. You do not ask for any clarification. Unfortunately, this entire scenario is my typical experience.

    Another matter that should concern the school committee is the situation with WB Community Health. There is an appearance this is a sham operation, and many millions of taxpayer dollars are at risk. The connection to the Warwick School Department is, there supposedly is a school-department person serving on the board of directors. (my comments on WB Community Health are posted with the Beacon articles “Benefits drive high city retiree health costs”, 11/7/19, and “What are the benefits?”, 10/31/19)

    Saturday, November 30, 2019 Report this