COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA (KMTV) — For much of the school year, students at Council Bluffs Public Schools have walked by tourniquet kits, hoping to never have to use them.
"If you would have asked me 15-20 years ago I probably wouldn't have even thought we'd have something like this in the schools but the idea that we do is really good in case we need them," says executive director of student and family services, Tim Hamilton.
Hamilton says it was Pottawattamie County Emergency Management that spearheaded the effort. Getting grant money to put the kits, which cost about $900 a piece, in every school in the county.
Some students are already fully trained.
Senior Paytyn Bernhards, who's in an advanced health science class that trains with the kits, says in an emergency you can use a scarf or tie as tourniquet, but the kits just work better.
"Rather than just using something that can have germs or any bacteria or anything on it this is clean and then you're going to be packing it with something that's clean," says Paytyn Bernhards, a student at Abraham Lincoln High School.
At least one of the kits is located in every school in the district. And inside of it, includes instructions, so in the event of an emergency, anybody inside the school can help out.
"Even if you aren't specifically trained in stop the bleed you could figure out how to use it, it's a pretty simple process,” says Hamilton.
The district plan is to slowly fully train staff how to use it before eventually teaching the high school students. Bernhards, a future nursing student, says her best advice for those learning is to stay focused so they can save a life.
"Being able to effectively communicate and get it done and make sure you're doing it all correctly and not skipping a step,” says Bernhards.
The health science class is able to train by using expensive practice kits. The district paid for those by a donation from the Council Bluffs Public Schools Foundation.
For information on how you can stop the bleed check out