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Tourniquets, Technology Help Strengthen District’s Comprehensive Safety Program

Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Health Foundation, the Westerville City School District (WCSD) is now able to provide high-quality tourniquets in all EJAM Go Buckets, which contain various safety resources for emergency situations and are located in every classroom in the district.

These potentially life-saving tourniquets are easy to apply and information regarding their use is being included with every supply distributed to schools.  Some school staff have already received formal training on their use, the most recent being Westerville South High School on November 20.  Training is also available to all district staff online.

Payton McCarthy, who graduated last year from Westerville Central High School (WCHS) and plans to become a nurse, remains involved in the initiative to bring tourniquets to every school in the district as part of the national “Stop the Bleed” program.  McCarthy wrote and received a $3,000 grant from the Westerville Education Foundation last year to buy 100 tourniquets for WCHS, and the initiative grew from there.  Stacey Wickham, Ohio Health’s senior consultant for trauma outreach, was instrumental in securing the grant from the Ohio Health Foundation to provide the tourniquets for all other schools in the district.

Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign that encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Injuries caused by accidents, intentional harm, or other actions can occur anywhere. Uncontrolled bleeding is the number-one cause of preventable death from trauma, but victims are more likely to survive if bleeding from an injury can be controlled as soon as possible.

WCSD did not yet have these tourniquets to incorporate as part of its Full Scale Safety Drill on October 18.  During this drill, which is required by law, the district’s primary focus was to test its reunification procedures under a realistic emergency scenario.  First responders from multiple jurisdictions serving WCSD helped plan and participated in the drill.

A critical component of the district’s reunification process is the use of Navigate Prepared software, which has been in place for just over one year.  Navigate Prepared interacts with the district’s student information system, PowerSchool, to ensure that the most up-to-date student information is easily accessible in a platform developed to help school officials manage crisis situations.

Navigate Prepared allows teachers and other staff whose responsibility it is to account for students to monitor and report their whereabouts during an emergency.  Navigate Prepared also ensures accurate communication of other critical student information to its users.  It quickly has become an invaluable resource to schools during their safety planning and emergency drills.

One key feature of Navigate Prepared is its ability to be used on multiple technology platforms and devices.  While replacing more costly, out-of-date laptop computers as part of its five-year Learning & Teaching Roadmap (2014-2018), the district already had provided Chromebooks to all teachers.  In addition to working on Chromebooks, Navigate Prepared provides an app for mobile devices if staff members also want to have this safety resource available on their personal cell phones.

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