One UT Student’s Mission: Train Everyone On Campus How To Save A Life
By NADIA HAMDAN
This article appeared on kut.org on February 21, 2018.
Three of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history have happened in the last five months. The most recent was just last week, when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Parkland, Fla.
Seventeen people were killed.
It’s easy to feel helpless in a situation like this, but one pre-med student at UT Austin says there is something people can do, and she’s making it her mission to train everyone on campus.
“If your victim is lying in a pool of blood, if your victim has a limb torn off,” Claire Zagorski tells a group of students, “these are all bad signs that we need to act and we need to do something.”
Zagorski’s class isn’t a typical elective. It’s one of the university’s first “Stop the Bleed” courses, a free training offered nationwide that teaches everyday people basic skills to help stop someone from bleeding to death.
It started in 2015 as a national awareness campaign created in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. In December 2012, a 20-year-old gunman fatally shot 26 people. Most of the victims were between 6 and 7 years old. It was one of the country’s deadliest mass shootings.
But it was another tragic event right on campus that made Zagorski think seriously about “Stop the Bleed.” Last year, a student attacked people with a hunting knife outside Gregory Gym. The attacker injured three people and killed one: UT freshman Harrison Brown. As a trained paramedic, Zagorski says she took for granted that she’d know what to do in this type of situation.
“There was a Daily Texan article where they quoted one of the bystanders to Harrison’s death. And she basically said, you know, there was someone laying there in front of me bleeding and I could do nothing but wait,” she says. “And that really was like striking that baseball with a bat … because it’s not true.”
After Harrison’s death, Zagorski decided to start a “Stop the Bleed” chapter at UT.
The full article can be read online here.