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.

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department wants everyone to remember that the first person on the scene of an accident is rarely the police or medical personnel, but rather those close to the person injured.

To that end, the SWUPHD is presenting a class called "Stop the Bleed," a free course designed to give attendees the tools necessary if/when an emergency arises in your life:

A bleeding injury can happen anywhere. We've all seen it happen too often — on the news or in everyday life. Life-threatening bleeding can happen in people injured in serious accidents or disasters. Instead of being a witness, you can become an immediate responder because you know how to STOP THE BLEED®. This 1-hour course will be offered May 25 in Cedar City from 10a-11 a.m., and in St George from 2pm-3pm. Please be sure to register for the correct time and location.

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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