Thanks to the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center's trauma center team, Crestview High School received the first kit in the county in early 2018, according to a press release from FWBMC and Twin Cities Hospital Public Relations Director Denise Kendust.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Local hospitals and the Okaloosa County School District have teamed up to give schools kits with supplies to stop traumatic hemorrhaging in case of emergency situations such as school shootings.

The idea to introduce Stop the Bleed kits to local schools started in February 2018 when Fort Walton Beach Medical Center's trauma center team partnered with Crestview High School to educate students and teachers on how to use the kits in emergency situations. Crestview received the first kit in the county, according to a press release from FWBMC and Twin Cities Hospital Public Relations Director Denise Kendust.

In August 2018, Kendust said Sheriff's Deputy Cullen Coraine, the school resource deputy at Liza Jackson Preparatory School, began to assemble his own version of a kit, which proved to be costly. After mentioning the project to Twin Cities CEO Dave Whalen, they began to research and work to purchase a full Stop the Bleed kit for the school.

A year later, Stop the Bleed kits were donated to the School District by FWBMC CEO Mitch Mongell and Whalen. Their efforts were recognized during the Aug. 12 School Board meeting.

"This is a partnership that we hope we never have to utilize," Superintendent Marcus Chambers said at the meeting.

Chambers said the donated kits cost about $800. They have been given to each Okaloosa County high school along with Laurel Hill School and Baker High School.

"As a district, we're always looking to make sure we've got safety measures in every school," Assistant Superintendent Steve Horton said at the meeting. "Not only the donations from these gentleman, but we'll also make sure one of these kits is in every school beginning the school year."

Horton added that people will be trained on how to use the kits.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Emergency Medical Services website, Stop the Bleed kits were launched in October 2015 by the White House as a "call to action." The website says the goal is to "develop and disseminate resources to train the public in bleeding control."

Stop the Bleed kits typically include a tourniquet, marker, bleeding control dressing, gloves, compression bandage and an instruction book on how to control bleeding.

"This is truly the entire community coming together to help make schools a safer place," Whalen said in the press release.