Written by: Mathew Messa/ Staff Writer
Tragedies such as the Parkland shooting leave a school’s administration and its students wondering what they can do to prepare themselves if they should face a similar catastrophe.
On Thursday, Feb. 27 the University’s Assistant Director of the Department Emergency Management, Bridget Pelaez, hosted an event in room 150 of the Graham Center titled “Stop the Bleed,” and aimed at teaching students life-saving skills to prepare them in the event of a disaster.
Pelaez stressed the importance of identifying exits whenever a student walks into a public area, and even had students identify the exits and disaster alarms of the lecture room they were in.
The tourniquet – a strong band that is used quell blood flowing from an injury to the arms or legs of a victim – was just one of the life-saving tools that Pelaez showed student how to use.
She informed students that if a victim is suffering from an injury where a tourniquet cannot be applied – such as the area from the neck to the groin – even clothing items can be used as life-saving tools. Items such as shirts or jackets can be used to pack the wound when supplies like packing gauze is unavailable, and pressure should be applied to the affected area to prevent further blood loss.
Pelaez explained the function of Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs. By following the procedures presented on the AED’s screen, students are taught how to perform CPR on the individual, which Pelaez covered in the demonstration.
The pads that come with the device are attached to the victim’s body, can read a victim’s heart rhythm, and then advise a student attempting to help on when the victim’s heart needs to be shocked.
The devices are found in nearly every building on campus, and a map of device locations can be found on the University’s DEM website, according to Pelaez.
Pelaez concluded the workshop by asking students to consider joining the University’s disaster volunteer program, where students can aid in the distribution of supplies and services in the event of a crisis. The DEM website provides students with information on the program.
Pelaez believes that if the University’s students are better prepared for a crisis, then the entire community will be better prepared.
“I believe that our students have the ability to impact our community and the world at large,” said Pelaez, “If we are able to give them a set of skills and education that matters to the community, especially in times of crisis, then not only is our campus going to be more resilient, but our students are going to represent the resiliency in our community.”
“Stop the Bleed” was organized by the Student Government Council at the Modesto Maidique campus and led by Ilan Timerman, SGC-MMC secretary of transportation and safety.