In the wake of recent school shootings, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed a grant to implement a program aimed at teaching students how to properly “control severe bleeding” in the event of a mass casualty event.
The School-Age Trauma Training will provide $1.8 million in free trauma training sessions to the public and high schoolers in the U.S. to train people on how to help victims with a wound.
If all three phases of the program's preparation go smoothly, it could be at least 36 months before it is officially offered.
“Uncontrolled bleeding is the number one cause of preventable death from trauma,” the grant’s proposal states. “This initiative is designed to enhance a bystander’s ability to take decisive, life-saving action to assist victims with traumatic injuries.”
John Verrico, a spokesman for the DHS' Science and Technology Directorate, told ABC News the grant will focus on training high school students in basic first aid to use in "any sort of disaster."
"We're looking to be able to have students trained in case of an emergency so that they can help each other," Verrico said.
After a gunman opened fired at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed, U.S. school districts began to implement new security measures to increase safety for students and staff.
In places like Clay High School, in Oregon, Ohio, a student was able to successfully lobby to make his school one of the few U.S. campuses to place trauma kits in their classrooms as part of the DHS #StoptheBleed campaign. The effort encourages people to become “trained, equipped and empowered” to help victims during a traumatic event.
As a member of his study body government, the high school junior expressed his concerns in a letter sent to local health officials asking for kits that would assist in the event of a school shooting. As of Tuesday, the school received kits which included tourniquets and emergency bandages.
Gregory says the kits are a valuable addition to the classrooms and was told by teachers they felt a ‘sense of security’ knowing the packages were in the classroom.
In addition to the kits, the superintendent said the shooting in Parkland was a stark reminder of the need to think more broadly about security and safety. As a result, teachers in the district were trained to assist victims in the event of a mass school shooting.
“Following the last Florida shooting, it really became kind of a goal of ours to listen to our students and listen to our staff about what their needs are,” Gregory said.
He also fully supports the School-Age Trauma Training proposal.
“I’m a proponent of anything we can do to prepare our kids and our staff in case of a horrific event like that,” Gregory said. “Anything that the Homeland Security can do to put in place to support our education of kids is absolute. We need to make that happen - they certainly have my support on that.”