Life-saving initiative launched to further improve fight against knife crime
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An initiative funded by Cheshire Constabulary has been launched to enable members of the public to prevent knife crime victims from bleeding to death.
Bleeding Control Kits will be rolled out to community venues across Halton.
The life-saving kits are easy to use but training will be provided to those willing to take the responsibility of dealing with a knife wound until paramedics arrive.
The first batch of kits and training will be in Runcorn and Widnes, and it is hoped that the initiative will then be extended across Cheshire.
Ambulance service call handlers and a KnifeSavers app will be able to direct people to their nearest Bleeding Control Kit.
Cheshire Constabulary has joined forces with not-for-profit organisation KnifeSavers as part of its multi-faceted approach to tackling knife crime.
Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, the knife crime lead for Cheshire Constabulary, said: “We have a structured prepare, protect, pursue and prevent approach to tackling knife crime that involves various partner agencies and the community as a whole – and it is working.
“We have one of the lowest rates of knife crime in England, and Cheshire is one of the few counties in England and Wales that has seen a reduction in the number of knife related offences committed in recent times.
“At Cheshire Constabulary we work alongside local authorities, education providers, health authorities, third sector organisations, youth representatives and community groups to educate young people about the dangers and futility of carrying weapons, steer them away from criminality and offer them attractive alternative ways to spend their time.
“But we are no strangers to the devastating consequences of knife crime. The killings of 18-year-old Eddie O’Rourke in Runcorn and pub landlord Christian Thornton in Widnes over the past few years represent ultimate examples of why people shouldn’t carry knives.
“A person can bleed to death in just five minutes if they are stabbed in the wrong place.
“It is essential to stem the loss of blood as soon as possible. Bleeding Control Kits enable members of the public to do this, with all types of wounds, before paramedics arrive. That can be the difference between life and death.
“As such, as part of our fight against knife crime, we are funding the rolling out of the kits to community venues across Halton, as well as training to give people the confidence to use them.”
The training has been organised by KnifeSavers but is delivered by Prometheus Medical Ltd, which makes the kits and supplies them to ambulance services throughout the UK.
Riverside College in Widnes became Halton’s first recipient of the kit and training package on Monday 27 January.
Brookvale Recreation Centre in Runcorn will be the next community venue to receive it, on Monday 10 February.
Prometheus Medical Ltd’s Joe Shelmerdine, who delivered the training at Riverside College, said: “Our Bleeding Control Kits contain high quality, life-saving equipment and are widely used by ambulance trusts in the UK. They are very easy to use and extremely effective.
“The kits contain a tourniquet to help occlude the circulation of blood following a significant limb injury; a haemostatic packaging gauze for packing into a wound to clot the blood and stop the bleeding; a high pressure bandage that can also be used to limit blood loss; a Russell Chest Seal to enable a casualty with a potential collapsed lung to breathe through a valve; two pairs of gloves and tough scissors to expose wounds.
“They also include easy to follow instructions on what to do and what equipment to use with each type of wound.
“A kit is now located at Riverside College in Widnes, and various members of its staff have been trained on how to use it.
“Other community venues in Halton will be following suit, and the kits can also be bought by members of the public online via the Prometheus Medical Ltd website.”
Thalia Bell, Deputy Principal at Riverside College, added: “Our staff enjoyed the presentation, and we are pleased to be working with community partners to help tackle knife crime, which is a societal problem across the UK that the police can’t solve on their own. Every single one of us has a part to play.
“We are aware that it is in the best interests of the local area that we are all involved in multi-agency committees and initiatives that help to save the lives of young people.”
The staff at Riverside College were also treated to a presentation focusing on the dangers and consequences of carrying and using weapons from Rob Jackson, Emergency Nurse Clinician at Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
He draws on his 20 years’ experience of saving the lives of knife crime victims – and giving the devastating news to the families of those he was not able to save – in his hard-hitting presentation that he delivers at high schools and other education providers for free.
It includes a range of real life horror stories and photographs of knife wounds.
For more information, or to book a presentation, follow @nurseclaypole on Twitter.
Any community venues in Halton interested in receiving a Bleeding Control Kit and training package for free should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The package can also be bought by businesses throughout Cheshire. For more details email email@example.com.
To find out where the nearest Bleeding Control Kit is to you, once they have been rolled out across Halton, you can download the KnifeSavers app to your smartphone.
The app can also be used in a real time emergency situation, giving you a step-by-step guide on how to control major bleeding.
From left, Police Constable Ian Hampson, Riverside College Deputy Principal Thalia Bell, Royal Liverpool University Hospital Emergency Nurse Clinician Rob Jackson and Prometheus Medical Ltd’s Joe Shelmerdine at the initiative’s launch event