Ricki couldn't believe her eyes.

One second, her husband was trimming some low-hanging branches off of one of their fruit trees in their massive backyard.. The next second, her husband Robert was laying on the ground, a deep gash in his leg, blood gushing out in spurts synched with the beat of his heart.

Robert wasn't screaming, though it must hurt terribly. In fact, he wasn't moving much at all, like he was perhaps already in shock. He sat in the grass and stared at his leg.

Quickly, she dialed 9-1-1 on her cell phone and with it on speaker, she rushed to Robert's side.

"I don't know what happened," he muttered. "It must've slipped or maybe I hit something hard,:" as he motioned toward the now still chainsaw.

Ricki knew if she didn't slow the bleeding, Robert's life was in real danger. It was early spring, so she had a sweatshirt tied around her waist and quickly used it to apply pressure to the wound.

The makeshift bandage helped, but it clearly wasn't enough to stem the red tide in the huge wound.

"Should I make a tourniquet?" she mumbled to Robert and herself. "I heard tourniquets can cut off your circulation and perhaps make you lose your limb."

Robert was clearly slipping into shock as the 9-1-1 operator tried to assess the situation.

So, what should Ricki do? A tourniquet? More bandages? Help him limp to the car and get him to the emergency room? Wait for an ambulance?

So many decisions, and many of the answers are correct, depending ion the specifics of the situation.

But one thing is clear: Ricki is the First responder in this situation. The actions she takes in the next moments may save (or cost) Robert his life, or his leg.

So being prepared for the emergency is paramount. To help you in this, the website stopthebleed.org is offering, through the local health department., free classes to teach us all what to do in these life-threatening situations.

In St. George, this class will be May 23 and you can register at swuhealth.org.

Stop the Bleed is a national program presented by the US Department of Defense with the idea to get participants prepared for possible emergency situation in everyday life.

Through the STOP THE BLEED® course, you’ll gain the ability to recognize life-threatening bleeding and intervene effectively. STOP THE BLEED®. Save a Life!

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