20 people learned lifesaving skills at Switzkill Farm class

— Photo from Karen Schimmer

Stop the Bleed: Two nurses taught a score of people lifesaving skills during Saturday’s class at Switzkill Farm in Berne.

To the Editor:

Accidents can happen anytime and anywhere: car accidents, sports and hunting accidents, snowmobiling and common playground accidents. In most cases, these accidents happen when you’re least expecting them, and often, when you’re least equipped to handle them.

The time between an accident and the arrival of first responders can be critical. This is especially true if the injury results in bleeding. The ability to react quickly and effectively is essential, and can be the difference between life and death, or even the loss of a limb.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, Switzkill Farm held a Stop the Bleed training workshop in the lodge on the property. Supported by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma, the program teaches basic techniques needed to control bleeding in life-threatening situations and after everyday accidents or emergencies. Aimed at the lay person, it presents fundamental information that, like cardiopulmonary resuscitation, anyone can learn.

Berne’s own Lindsay (Conklin) Kolysko, MSN, RN, CEN, and Cindy Morrison, MSN, RN , both experienced emergency-room nurses, presented the class to 20 participants who ranged in age from pre-teens to older adults. They had two goals: Teach participants how to locate and assess bleeding wounds, then train the participants to treat the wound effectively until a medical team arrives.

Saturday’s participants learned the best course of action to take depending on location and extent of the injury. They learned when and how to apply a tourniquet, how to pack a deep wound, and when and how to apply pressure to a wound. Each participant practiced the techniques on a dummy and received a certificate for successful completion of the course.

The Switzkill Valley Volunteers, a not-for-profit organization that supports Switzkill Farm, provided refreshments for the attendees. The group donated two Stop the Bleed kits, one for Town Hall and one for Switzkill Farm.

The event was a great success. Thanks go out to Lindsay and Cindy for their excellent lifesaving program and good will.  Both said they would be willing to teach those skills at other local events. Special thanks as well to the Switzkill Valley Volunteers for the Stop the Bleed kits and delicious refreshments.

Finally, thank you to the Switzkill Farm Board for sponsoring the class. Information about activities at the farm may be found on the Switzkill Farm Facebook page. Take a moment to explore what’s happening throughout the year. Programs are open to all, and we’d welcome your participation.

Karen Schimmer

Berne Town Board member