By Andrew Smith
The Grand Rapids Community College Library and Learning Commons have organized a series of events to promote safety on campus. The first, Stop the Bleed, will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 25th in the Student Community Center, multi-purpose room 234.
Response times vary depending on where the incident occurs but on average, it takes first responders 18 minutes to arrive at a dramatic trauma incident such as a school shooting. In a situation like this, every second can be the difference between life and death. In the time it takes for the police, firefighters, or Emergency Medical
Services (EMS) to arrive on the scene, victims could be able to be saved by everyday citizens who know how to administer life-saving treatments such as using a tourniquet.
Toni Harrington, GRCC’s library circulation specialist, explained why the college decided to host such an event.
“Most casualties are caused by bleeding,” Harrington said. “We want to empower the public by giving them a sense that they can help.”
In Stop the Bleed, students will be led by Mikki Grit, from the Emergency Nurses Association of West Michigan. Through the duration of the meeting, students will learn about the basics of what to do in an emergency situation involving trauma, how to administer tourniquets and will even be able to practice on a human-like replica.
“In this day and age, in light of what’s been happening in the news (with mass shootings) we want students to feel empowered and make them feel better about any possibilities, no matter how unlikely,” Harrington said.
The second event in this college safety series, Campus Intruder Safety Training, will take place between noon and 1:30 p.m. on March 18 in the Student Community Center, multi-purpose room 234. This event was originally set to take place on Feb. 18 but was rescheduled to March 18 due to GRCC closings.
At the start of each semester, it is commonplace for professors to go over what to do in case of emergencies such as fires by discussing exit locations around the college. Some students have possibly even had a discussion on what to do in case of a tornado. Another potential danger that is being talked about more and more is what to do in case an intruder comes on campus.
When a violent event is taking place, there is no time left to prepare. GRCC has made it a priority to give students and staff resources to prepare now for such an incident in this seminar in an effort to help them feel safer and more prepared for the worst situations.
A good start for those wanting to know what to do in a violent situation is to remember Run, Hide or Fight. GRCC Police Department’s Lieutenant Robert Decker elaborated more on these important options.
“If you can’t run, then hide and only in the worst case scenario should you actively fight … to save your own life or someone else’s,” Decker said.
In a cooperative effort, this training will be taught by Decker and Lina Blair, director of Student Life and Conduct. Throughout the duration of the instruction, an emphasis will be placed on identifying potential threats before a life-threatening event takes place, how to respond to a campus intruder, what are warning signs for a potential attack and how to tip off law enforcement.
“You shouldn’t be afraid to go to schools,” Decker said. “The odds of this happening are extremely slim but then again, it could happen at the drop of a hat.”
The training is one way to educate students on what to do in case of an emergency, much like discussing how to escape a burning building or take cover during a tornado.
Students are reminded that they should report anything they find to be suspicious on campus. Call campus police at their non-emergency number, (616) 234-4010, if the situation is not an emergency. For all emergencies, call 9-1-1.
For both events, lunch will be provided. All GRCC students are encouraged to attend and student workers will be paid for attending if approved with their superior. To RSVP to either or both of these events, email Antoinette Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org.