Your Role as a First Responder in a Bleeding Emergency

As a first responder, you're the person who gets to the scene of an emergency first. Your job is to assess the situation and then provide aid if needed. You work with other responders, such as paramedics or EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), who may be on their way or en route to help out with whatever has happened.

Direct the victim to a safe area.

Once you have assessed the scene and determined that it is safe for you to move forward, direct the victim to a safe area.

  • Get them away from danger. If there is an active shooter or other immediate threat, get your patient away from that area as quickly as possible.
  • Find a place where they can rest and be comfortable (e.g., sitting on a bench). This will help keep their blood flowing so that more don't get lost due to pooling in their legs when they stand up again later on in treatment at an emergency room or hospital setting; also remember that most people will feel better once they've rested for awhile after being injured because this helps stabilize blood pressure levels which may have dropped during injury response time period (this could happen even if someone has not lost much actual volume due to bleeding!).
  • Find a place where they can sit or lie down--preferably somewhere quiet so others won't disturb them while trying not only to help themselves but others too!

Be ready to apply pressure on the wound.

  • Apply pressure on the wound.
  • Use your hands or a clean cloth to apply pressure, and keep doing so until help arrives or until you can no longer see any blood coming from the wound. If you're using a cloth, don't remove it to check if the bleeding has stopped; just keep applying pressure until help arrives (and don't forget to call for that help).
  • Call for assistance if necessary--and stay calm! The most important thing is keeping yourself safe while waiting for an ambulance or other emergency services personnel to arrive at your location with supplies such as bandages and tourniquets that can stop bleeding quickly before heading out into public again after being exposed to this incident.

Control any external hemorrhage.

Once you have control of the bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean dressing or cloth. If the bleeding is severe, apply pressure with your hands directly over the wound until help arrives.

If a tourniquet is needed to stop heavy external bleeding from an arm or leg in order to save a life, use this device only as a last resort after other methods have been tried unsuccessfully and only when there is no chance of re-establishing circulation by releasing it after it has done its job (as long as two minutes).

If there is any doubt about whether someone has an internal injury--such as abdominal trauma--do not touch him/her; seek medical attention immediately instead!

Call for help.

  • Call 911, if you are in an area where it is available and can speak with a dispatcher.
  • Call the victim's next of kin and let them know what happened (and ask them to call 911).
  • Call the victim's doctor or other healthcare provider and request medical attention for your friend or family member who has been injured (and again, tell them what happened). If there is no one else nearby who can make these calls on your behalf, do so yourself! It may seem strange at first--but remember: people want to help each other out when they can do so safely.

If you see someone bleeding, know what to do!

  • Stay calm. It's important for first responders and bystanders alike not to panic when dealing with a bleeding emergency. Panic can lead you astray from the proper course of action and make it harder for you or others around you to do their jobs effectively.
  • Check for an airway, breathing, and pulse--in that order. If someone is unconscious or unable to respond due to shock or injury (or any other reason), check their airway first by tilting their head back slightly and lifting their chin up toward themselves; tilt the victim's head back further if necessary so that no vomit gets into their mouth or nose while performing this maneuver.
  • Next assess whether they are breathing normally while observing chest movement at regular intervals throughout this process.
  • Finally check whether there is any detectable pulse along one side of each wrist before moving on down below where there may be more serious injuries requiring attention before calling 911 immediately after locating them both because these steps could save lives depending upon how quickly they're performed following initial contact with potential victims' bodies.
  • When applying pressure after checking these three things twice over carefully look around yourself carefully first though because conditions might change significantly between now & then depending upon how far away we were able to get safely without being seen walking together towards them without attracting attention which could cause harm instead than helping people out like we're supposed


Remember, if you see someone bleeding, know what to do! There are many different types of bleeding, and each requires its own treatment. But in general, the first step is always the same: get out of harm's way. Then find something sturdy enough to stop the bleeding (like clothing or blankets), and apply pressure with it on top of whatever wound is present until help arrives at your location.

First Aid for Severe Bleeding Certification

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