Harpur’s Ferry, the student-operated volunteer ambulance service, has been a prominent part of the Binghamton University campus since it was established in the 1970s. On Monday, the organization announced an initiative to train students and faculty to act effectively in emergency situations.
Stop the Bleed is a national campaign, and BU’s version will be funded by a $25,000 grant secured by state Sen. Fred Akshar. It includes 160 hemorrhage-stopping kits in central locations across campus, including one next to all automated external defibrillators. In the next few weeks, Harpur’s Ferry will begin running weekly workshops for students and faculty. Attendees will learn how to properly use the kits in a variety of situations, hopefully preventing serious injuries at the University.
Akshar said he was inspired by Harpur’s Ferry after being introduced to the service last year, and agreeing to sponsor the campaign was very easy for him.
“I know that when dealing with an accident or a shooting, every second certainly counts,” Akshar said. “Clearly from all of the tragedies that we are seeing throughout this nation, we know that time is very critical, and having kits like this readily accessible to as many people as possible will certainly save lives.”
The campaign emphasizes the “ABCs of bleeding control” — A: alert, B: locate bleeding and C: compress. When Stop the Bleed kits are available, trainees will use a sterile gauze pad; if the victim continues to bleed, the bystander must use a tourniquet to stop circulation in the wounded limb. Students will learn how to use their own or the victim’s clothing to stop hemorrhage for situations when kits are not accessible.
Adam Fox, ‘92, is an assistant professor of surgery and section chief of trauma surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and a former Harpur’s Ferry volunteer. He’s helped the organization reach out to the state and partner organizations to secure funding for the campaign.
“This incredible initiative makes Binghamton University, we believe, the first campus in New York, and one of the only campuses in the country, to be fully bleed-control compliant,” Fox said. “It is the continued commitment of all those involved that makes this project even more important.”
Blake Topper, the operations director for Harpur’s Ferry and a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience, said Harpur’s Ferry’s former chief and executive director, Meir Berkman, ‘16, paved the way for the program by building a closer relationship with Akshar, the University and Fox. According to Topper, Stop the Bleed will expand the training the agency offers at the beginning of each academic year.
“There’s always more work to go, there’s always going to be things that we can work on to better it, but I think Stop the Bleed … especially now, is the next big step for getting bystanders ready and prepared in order to handle a lifesaving situation,” Topper said.