Pasco County plans to begin outfitting buildings it owns with “Stop the Bleed” kits aimed at helping victims in the first moments after a mass casualty situation.

  • Kits donated by Bayonet Point Medical Center
  • Equipped with tourniquet, bandages, other tools
  • County will schedule training sessions for kits

“As we saw in the Pulse nightclub incident over in Orlando, a lot of those people were trapped in bathrooms and store rooms and stuff where they weren’t able to get aid, and first responders weren’t able to enter that building until that situation was deemed safe,” said Pasco County Fire Rescue Training Division Chief Shawn Whited.

The 112 kits donated from Bayonet Point Medical Center would allow bystanders to step in during those crucial moments immediately after an injury. They come with a tourniquet, bandages, and other tools that can be used to help victims of a shooting or anyone who’s suffered some kind of trauma. Whited said the kits will be placed in libraries, the county courthouse, and other county buildings alongside AEDs.

“Putting that AED on somebody and rendering that care first and fast has saved lives,” Whited said. “We’re hoping the same thing will happen with these bleeding control kits.”

Pasco’s board of county commissioners approved a licensing agreement for submission to the Department of Defense to take part in the program and a resolution to accept the kits on Feb. 6. County officials said training sessions will be held, but laypeople who haven’t been trained can also put the kits to use.

“On the phone, the 911 call taker says, ‘Is there availability of an AED?’ ‘Yes, there is.’ ‘Go into that kit and get the "Stop the Bleed" kit and come back and let’s work on the patient,” Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety Kevin Guthrie said of how dispatchers can help guide people.

“People generally want to help people,” said Whited. “We see it everyday: people that stop at car accidents, people that stop at house fires or medical emergencies. There’s always somebody there, you know – ‘Is there anything I can do?’”

Whited said kits are expected to be placed in buildings sometime in the next two months.