Avondale community members learn how to care for shooting victims at ‘stop the bleed’ event

The training comes after a rise in the number of shootings with teenage victims in Cincinnati this year.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 10:35 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - More than a dozen people across Avondale gathered Thursday night to take a proactive approach to gun violence.

Parents, grandparents and young people flocked to the Avondale branch of the Cincinnati Public Library for a “stop the bleed” course learning how to treat and respond to shooting victims.

Young people like Lowan Green say they know the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.

“My cousin, she died from a shooting,” Green said. “So, ever since that happened, I’ve just wanted it to stop and just help everybody and put the guns down.”

Green and mothers like Juane Madaris were all in attendance for the two-hour training.

“I was in a situation where somebody actually killed themselves, and I didn’t know what to do at the time besides call 911, and things of that nature, so I thought it was important to come out here,” Madaris said.

The attendees learned how to apply pressure to a gunshot wound and use dressings and tourniquets to stop a victim’s bleeding. They also learned tips for navigating the ensuing emotional trauma.

“It affects the children a lot that we see here at the library,” said Stacee Blye. “I can see the fear and the insecurity they have just going to school.”

Melissa Williams, RN, is a trauma education specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

“Since we know that a lot of our trauma victims are going to die within the first 60 minutes, training these people to know what to do and jump into action,” Williams said.

The training was offered in partnership with local hospitals, community leaders and faith-based ministries in response to a rash of shootings with youth victims. CPD data show there were 17 shootings involving teenagers in the first three months of 2023 as opposed to three in 2022.

“When we think about gun violence, the impact is broader than just on the victim, and the perpetrator,” said Erin Saul, coalition manager of Joining Forces for Children. “There are ripple effects throughout the community.”

Attendees were hopeful of changing the outcome and the narrative in Avondale and beyond.

“We’re actually providing the training for ages 12 and up right now, so really empowering teenagers to act if they have to,” said Kristen Jacobs, community organizer of the Greater Cincinnati Resilience Coalition. “It’s right on time, and we pray that we don’t have to use this training, but if it does happen and we’re near, that we can possibly save a life.”

Representatives with Cincinnati Children’s say they’re working on making the free classes available to more community members at libraries and other public spaces.

Classes are posted publicly on stopthebleed.org.

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