Tying tourniquets, packing bloody wounds and practicing CPR were all activities Hays County residents learned Saturday at the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center.
It was part of the “Prepare for Tomorrow- Are You Ready?” event hosted by the Hays County Office of Emergency Management.
The event was meant to inform hundreds of Hays County residents about life-saving skills such as responding to an active shooter, performing CPR and stopping bleeds.
Admin Training Lieutenant Katie Contreras, who taught the seminar “Stop the Bleed,” said she believes civilian response to emergency situations can save lives despite rapid response from First Responders and Emergency Medical Technicians.
“Anybody who is uninjured can treat somebody else and is going to be able to save them quicker …” Contreras said. “ … until we can get there with an ambulance.”
The most popular class of the day was a Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) class; more than 50 families took part.
Wesley Lowe, school resource officer (SRO) at Lehman High, taught CRASE and emphasized that civilian response is imperative to survival despite quick response times from local law enforcement.
“The faster you get through the stages of denial and deliberation to act the greater your chance,” Lowe said.
Kyle Egerton, Buda resident and father of two, attended every class and paid special attention to the CRASE demonstration as his children are starting school. Egerton said he wants to prepare them in case they are in an emergency situation.
“With increasing hostility in the world and the increasing frequency of shooting events and natural disasters, I think it’s critical to be educated in how to respond,” Egerton said. “The class was an opportunity to ask an important question I’ve had about engaging an active shooter or my own in self defense.”
Lowe said if a civilian disarms an active shooter in an emergency, they will be fine if they are not armed when emergency personnel arrive.
Representatives for the city of Kyle set up a booth about flood safety as the county has seen regular flash floods in recent weeks.
“Flooding is the most common natural disaster in this area,” said Brian Lillibridge, assistant director of public works. “We monitor our streets and monitor the weather, so we can mobilize and shut the streets down.”
The Kyle Public Works administration offered flood maps that showed roads commonly closed during a flood and recommended residents always turn around to avoid driving through deep water. This information can also be located on the city’s website.