Control the Bleed Empowers Middle Schoolers to Say Something, Do Something

Instead of running, dancing or exercising during physical education, athletics and dance class recently, every middle school student in the district, that’s 5,642 total, learned hands-only CPR, tourniquet application and how to use the emergency 911 system.

As part of the national Stop the Bleed initiative, Comal ISD partners with the Healthcare, Innovations and Sciences (H.I.S.) Centre in Bulverde to teach students to “see something and do something.”

“Control the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives,” says Ashley Hoppe, business director with H.I.S. and the program’s facilitator. “We couple this lesson with a hands-only CPR lesson.

“The main purpose of the lesson is to empower students to be able to see something and do something. We emphasize our effort to try to take the shock factor off of an emergency situation. Knowledge is power.”

Hoppe explains that middle school students are at the perfect age to participate in this lesson since they are genuinely engaged and eager to pass the information on to family members and friends. Therefore, strengthening the network of people within the community who can “see something and do something.”

This year, the H.I.S. team presented the Stop the Bleed lesson at each of the district’s seven middle schools in February during every physical education, athletics or dance class. The CPR lesson was broken into three simple steps for students to easily remember.

  • Step 1 – “Hey, hey, are you OK?” Students are taught to verify whether or not the person who is ill needs CPR or some other medical assistance.
  • Step 2 – Dial 911. Students are taught the importance of the 911 system and how it works.
  • Step 3 - Push hard. Push fast. This is the hands-only compression CPR lesson. Students are taught that good, quality compressions are important to give someone who needs CPR.

After discussing the three steps, each student tries a hands-on CPR lesson using a manikin. As for “control the bleed,” students are taught tourniquet use, application and easy to remember tips such as, “If it won’t quit, tourniquet,” and “high and tight.”

The simple act of knowing how to use a tourniquet, can save a life, Hoppe says, especially since students may encounter emergencies in their everyday lives from household and outdoor accidents to recreational and extreme accidents.

The Control the Bleed project at Comal ISD began four years ago in response to the increase in school shootings nationwide, says Courtney Nesloney, RN, the district’s health services coordinator. Tourniquets and control the bleed stations were purchased and placed at all Comal ISD campuses at that time.

In addition to teaching middle school students these important lessons, ninth grade students receive instruction in their biology classes; and CPR training is required by the State of Texas for all students before they graduate from high school.

Comal ISD staff members are trained annually as well by campus nurses on tourniquet use and bleeding control, and school nurses have attended several training sessions on casualty and trauma care to better be prepared for any events that may occur on a campus or in the community.


Photos from top

-Students at Smithson Valley Middle School practice CPR compressions during a Stop the Bleed presentation in February.

-Spring Branch Middle School student, Shelby Leonard, demonstrates a life-saving technique with the help of trainers from the Healthcare, Innovations and Sciences (H.I.S.) Centre in Bulverde. Pictured is Retired Col. Steve Stevenson and Kelsey Brown.

-Representatives from the Healthcare, Innovations and Sciences (H.I.S.) Centre in Bulverde visited every Comal ISD middle school in February to teach CPR, tourniquet and 911 protocols. Pictured from left is Kelsey Brown, Elizabeth Dillard and Ashley Hoppe. 


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