East Jefferson Fire-Rescue team member Pete Yelaca teaches how to apply a tourniquet during the Chimacum School District’s “Stop the Bleed” training Monday. (East Jefferson Fire Rescue)

East Jefferson Fire-Rescue team member Pete Yelaca teaches how to apply a tourniquet during the Chimacum School District’s “Stop the Bleed” training Monday. (East Jefferson Fire Rescue)

Chimacum school staff train to protect students

CHIMACUM — Chimacum School District staff members gained new skills for protecting students as they completed “Stop the Bleed” training that was taught by a retired award-winning surgeon and organized by a collaboration of county safety officials.

The training on Monday was comprised of two parts: triage training on how to stem blood flow in an emergency and a question-and-answer session with district Superintendent Rick Thompson about the future safety contingency plan for the district.

In emergency situations, bleeding out kills faster than most other wounds, so having the training to stop it is vital for student safety, according to Thompson.

The staff were broken into two groups, according to Thompson, with half doing the “Stop the Bleed” training and the other in the emergency plan session.

The “Stop the Bleed” lesson, was taught by former Navy Medical Corpsman and surgeon Dr. Harold Bohman of Port Townsend.

Bohman served eight deployments in combat zones. The Army Medical Research and Material Command gave him the Combat Casualty Care Research Program award for excellence in 2006 for “vision and dedication in the improvement of early surgical care of those injured in combat.”

The doctor’s experience with real-life trauma had a great impact on the training, Thompson said.

“The new emergency plan covers a wide range of problems that the schools may face and is individualized for both schools,” Thompson said.

These problems include extreme weather, earthquakes and an active shooter situation, he said.

Thompson said the training was a large community effort and that there is “no way we could’ve done this without our community partners.”

Among those who provided trainers and equipment, helped write the new emergency operations plan and set up facilities were the Port Townsend Police Department school resource officer, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, Jefferson County Community Emergency Response Team, Jefferson Healthcare staff, Port Townsend Police Department, Department of Emergency Management, Chimacum High School staff and students, Bohman, Citizens for Safe Students and the Rotary Club of East Jefferson County.

Other individual members of the community also assisted.

The training was a continuation of the district’s emergency operations plan, which also includes ALICE training — Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate — as a contingency for active shooter situations.

The training was adopted into the district in 2018 and is utilized throughout the country, Thompson said.

Thompson describes the “Stop the Bleed” training as “a skill everyone should have, like CPR and learning how to use an AED.”

The question-and-answer session gave the staff opportunities to give feedback on the future plans for the district, and Thompson was happy with “all the good feedback … on what we need to improve and change as we move forward.”


Reporter Zachary Jablonski can be reached at [email protected].

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