Ahead of Pride, EMS Train LGBTQ Businesses on Active Shooter Response

Community members asked for training after Club Q shooting

Austin Pride Parade 2017 (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Ahead of Austin Pride this weekend, first responders held a training Thursday at Highland Lounge for LGBTQIA businesses on how to stop severe bleeding. Though bleak, the training – Stop the Bleed, developed by the American College of Surgeons – is a safety measure called for by the community.

After the November 2022 mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado, Austinites began reaching out to paramedics and firefighters for help in being prepared for an active shooter situation, according to an Austin Police press release. “We came up with the idea to provide this training, to empower our community and give them the knowledge and tools to potentially save a life,” said Austin-Travis County EMS Captain Shannon Koesterer.

EMS and the fire department began teaching Stop the Bleed classes in January, but training has ramped up ahead of Pride. In it, participants are taught to control severe bleeding with tourniquet application, wound packing, and pressure dressing usage. These are combined with Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) classes taught by APD officers, in which participants are taught situational awareness, tactical maneuvers, and communication strategies to enhance individual and group safety. In addition to the training, APD’s Lesbian and Gay Police Officers Association (LGPOA) donated 10 Stop the Bleed kits to bars and clubs, which include tourniquets, bandages, dressing, and instructional booklets. Thursday marked the 12th Stop the Bleed class and the third combined with CRASE this year. More than 300 community members have been trained so far.

“We pray our community never faces a mass casualty or active shooter scenario,” said President of the LGPOA Sgt. Michael Crumrine, “but knowing the community is better trained to help save lives after today reminds me that our relationship with the community is strong and Austin is immensely resilient.”

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