First, let’s state the obvious. The possibility of a school shooting on the Lower Cape, however remote, is terrifying. And it’s sickening that, in this age, we’re holding active shooter drills in our schools and training the nurses to apply tourniquets.
But mass shootings happen, and ignoring that possibility is irresponsible. If you’re tempted to invoke the “it can’t happen here” perspective, know that you’re in good company. They felt that way in small towns like Newtown, Conn. and Parkland, Fla., and in resort communities like Orlando and Las Vegas.
There’s good news. Our schools are more inclusive places than ever before, and faculty members and peers alike are now sensitive to kids who might feel alienated or bullied. Our police and school administrators have devised plans to respond should a shooting take place. Our children are resilient, and for the most part, they’re taking these scary new emergency protocols in stride. Before long, active shooter drills will be as routine as fire drills.
So when it comes to training our school nurses, teachers, students in how to control severe bleeding, let’s take that as more good news. The Stop the Bleed program being taught by local firefighters and county officials is an important initiative, and the training is simple and straightforward. We strongly encourage ordinary citizens to consider taking the one-hour class as well. Injuries that cause serious bleeding can be as close as the nearest lawnmower blade, kitchen knife or outboard motor propeller, and knowing how to act quickly can save a life.
Being prepared isn’t just about being a responsible member of the community. It’s a way to help us all sleep a little better at night.