How to stop bleeding in an emergency

Emergency life-saving products are displayed June 14, 2017, by the Wayne Township Fire Department in Indianapolis. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Wayne Township Fire Department demonstrated steps to stop someone from bleeding in an emergency Wednesday after a gunman in Virginia shot a U.S. Representative and four other people.

First responders hope their demonstration will help citizens prepare for the real thing.

“You may be right there on the front lines and there’s no one from public safety and there are things that you can do. One of those: stop the bleeding,” Captain Michael Pruitt said.

It was no drill in Virginia when the gunman opened fire on a practice for the congressional baseball game. Congressman Mo Brooks said he rushed to help a staffer who’d been shot in the leg.

“I took off my belt and myself and another congressman, I don’t remember who, applied a tourniquet to try to slow down the bleeding,” Brooks said.

A tourniquet is a device tied around a limb, two to three inches above a wound. Applying a tourniquet is the last of three steps Wayne Township Fire and the Department of Homeland Security say you can take to stop bleeding.

Medics with Wayne Township said, if a proper tourniquet is not available, you can make one using a shirt or cloth. You can use a pen or a stick to twist the cloth and create more pressure.

“That’s what it’s all about for us today, just pushing that message out to empower the average citizen every day to save someone’s life,” Pruitt said.

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