In the event of a situation where one or multiple people require care for sustained wounds, city-owned facilities and local schools are now prepared with bleeding control kits installed by the San Marino Fire Department (SMFD).
According to Fire Chief Mario Rueda, it’s better for the city to have them and never use them than something happening and not having them on hand.
One bleeding control kit contains eight individual kits which can be quickly distributed to people assisting those needing care. Each kit contains a tourniquet, 6” trauma dressing gauze, two gauze rolls, two pairs of large nitrile gloves and a pair of trauma shears. Each kit has easy-to-understand pictures and directions for the usage of each.
SMFD Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Tsai said the kits can be used in a variety of situations, from a shooting to any event where bleeding must be slowed to preserve life until first responders are on scene.
“Say there was an incident where there was an active shooter,” said Tsai. “This allows eight separate kits to be thrown to bystanders to help with someone who’s bleeding out instead of having one person have to run around.”
Tsai said the prevalence of publicly accessible bleeding control kits in the region came about after the 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport where four people were shot, one fatally. The airport soon thereafter started installing the kits, which are often placed next to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for use in assisting those in sudden cardiac arrest.
Currently in San Marino, there is an individual bleeding control kit installed next to an AED at City Hall, the Crowell Public Library and Stoneman School. There are also kits at Valentine Elementary, Carver Elementary, Huntington Middle School and at the school district office, according to SMFD Administrative Assistant Jennifer McGee. Four kits are expected to be installed at San Marino High School. The fire department will soon be installing an additional kit at each elementary school in the health aid office.
San Marino residents Stefanie and Mike Killackey donated the kits to the school district.
“Let me reiterate what I said back in March,” said Killackey, who presented a check to School Board president Lisa Link at March 12 board meeting. “I hope they are never used. However, our community needs to provide a safe and secure environment for every child, teacher and staff member in our district and Stefanie and I knew this was a great step in that direction.”
The Killackeys have two children in San Marino schools. Mike is a trustee on the San Marino Schools Foundation and was a candidate at the 2018 San Marino School Board election. Stefanie Killackey will serve as the 2019-20 president of the Valentine Elementary School PTA.
The SMFD has also conducted trainings with the entire city staff at City Hall, the library and at Stoneman. The training consisted of a Power Point presentation, explanation of kits and hands-on practice work.
“This just gives the public now an option of putting some type of bleeding control on someone who gets injured,” said Tsai.