STOP THE BLEED “bleeding kits” include tools to aid a bleeding emergency before first responders arrive. (Photo provided by Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management)

STOP THE BLEED “bleeding kits” include tools to aid a bleeding emergency before first responders arrive. (Photo provided by Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management)

County gets dozens of ‘bleeding kits’ to prepare for worst-case scenarios

The kits are part of a FEMA initiative to lengthen survival times of those with serious injuries before first-responders arrive.

EVERETT — Federal efforts to better prepare the public for mass shootings and other mass casualty incidents has brought funding for new “bleeding kits” to Snohomish County.

Through a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant of $230,000, King County secured the kits and is distributing them to several local emergency management agencies, including Snohomish County. Along with Seattle and Bellevue, Pierce County also received some.

The program is called “Stop the Bleed” and kits include a tourniquet, gauze, sheers, survival blanket and an instruction card. They also include a different type of gauze that specifically helps clot the blood, slowing the bleeding.

Snohomish County readiness program manager Jarrod Dibble said he took a Stop the Bleed training course five or six years ago.

“It wasn’t necessarily common to have Stop the Bleed kits all over the place,” Dibble said, “but now it’s kind of coming to light with more and more incidents throughout the nation and we wanted to get these out and a little more publicly available instead of waiting for vehicles that might show up 10 minutes later as the response continues.”

Coming out of the pandemic, more community events are putting emphasis on the effort, Dibble said.

Snohomish County received 39 stations, each with eight kits. The kits themselves are a little bigger than a large iPhone.

The kits will be distributed “quickly and equitably” to schools and other public spaces, said Scott North, a spokesperson for the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.

A program in 2022 — via a different funding source — brought a batch of kits to the county, North said. Snohomish County Jail got a station, as did the county courthouse, the county campus and the fairgrounds. County emergency management vehicles also have bleeding kits.

Dibble said one consideration is whether a location needs a full box of eight kits. If it does, some buildings may not have a spot to hang the box in a central location.

“Our first concerted effort is to try and identify facilities that are in the greatest need, but already have some ability to potentially train on site,” Dibble said.

Training is a requirement of the federal grant. The kits have a QR code linking to a training, but people should watch it before an emergency.

“It’s not designed to be a training on the fly,” Dibble said. “If you need to use the kit right then and there, it’s not designed to teach you in 15 seconds how to use it. Our hope is that if we can get this out and people are frequenting certain areas, they can scan the QR code and scan it ahead of time to get, at least, an online training.”

Dibble noted local officials are working with health care facilities and fire departments to “bolster” their resources and provide more community training.

About 60,000 Americans die each year due to blood loss, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Emergency service response times average seven minutes and rise to 14 minutes in rural areas. But a person can bleed out from a serious wound in as little as five minutes.

Dibble said he keeps one kit in his backpack and two in his car at all times. His hope is the public will consider before the need arises to stop a bleed.

“Everybody should have their own ability to put on a tourniquet,” Dibble said, “whether they take a local training through their fire department or an online training, or just buy their own.”

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046;; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

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