Stop the bleeding, save lives

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By Mike Ittner, NR, Paramedic, TCHC Emergency Preparedness Coordinator

Did you know that when injuries occur during emergencies and man-made and natural disasters, major bleeding is the second-leading cause of death?

photo of the TCHC EMS team standing in front of a TCHC ambulanceWith this in mind, TCHC’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is joining a national Stop the Bleed campaign to raise awareness and prepare the public for cases of major bleeding.

Free resources

TCHC EMS is championing this campaign in Wadena, Todd and Otter Tail counties by offering free Stop the Bleed kits and free education to anyone in the tri-county area who needs it.

Each Stop the Bleed kit has gloves, absorbent gauze and tourniquets, as well as a flyer containing first aid tips. When we deliver the kit, we will provide free training on how to use the items and the best methods for controlling bleeding. One of our main goals is to put a Stop the Bleed kit wherever there is an AED, but anyone with a need is welcome to request one.

You can make a difference

Victims of a massive bleed can die within five to 10 minutes if it isn’t controlled. Serious bleeding could be caused by a number of incidents, including falls, shop accidents, car crashes and man-made or natural disasters.

One of the core components of the Stop the Bleed campaign is to educate potential bystanders. Despite how quickly emergency responders arrive, witnesses are always the first people at a scene, so their quick action could be the difference between life and death for a victim.

The more blood we keep in the body, the better chance a person has of surviving. Our free kits allow bystanders to immediately begin life-saving measures by controlling a bleed until emergency responders arrive. Anyone can save lives if they know what to of the actual stop the bleed kit

Increasing safety

This Stop the Bleed campaign will help us further increase safety for the public, and we hope community members will take advantage of these free kits and training.

I want to give a huge thank you to the local VFW, American Legion, Lions, Elks, St. Helen’s Episcopal Church, First Congregational United Church of Christ Lamson fund and the Tri-County Health Care Foundation, all of whom donated funds to make our Stop the Bleed kits possible.

To request a Stop the Bleed kit, give me a call at 218-631-7464.

Stop the Bleed is a national campaign started by a workgroup of The White House National Security Council.

For more information, visit


photo of Mike Ittner, EMS managerAbout the Author: Mike Ittner, a retired member of the U.S. Armed Forces, is currently the EMS manager. He received his EMT training from Tri-County EMS, completed his paramedic training and has been associated with Tri-County EMS for seven years.

Emergency Service Personnel Recognized for Dedication to their Communities

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More than 90 EMS personnel from local fire, rescue and police departments attended Tri-County Health Care’s 30th annual Emergency Medical Service (EMS) program. The event was held on Tuesday, March 14 at M-State, Wadena campus.

“This event is a chance to have an educational opportunity, hear from guest speakers, and also recognize area personnel,” said Mike Ittner, Tri-County Health Care EMS Manager. “This is the 30th year that we’ve been able to recognize the many dedicated men and women who do heroic things on a daily basis.”

Speakers included John Pate, M.D., Tri-County Health Care EMS Medical Director; Mike Ittner, Tri-County Health Care EMS Manager, and three area residents that have personally been impacted by EMS personnel who’ve helped a loved one.

Several EMS awards were also presented to area personnel:

  • Star of Life – (The Star of Life award is given to emergency personnel for making an extremely noteworthy contribution to efforts which resulted in saving a life.)
    • Menahga First Response, Menahga Police, & Wadena County Dispatch
    • Menahga Lifeguards, Menahga First Responders, Menahga Police, Wadena County Sheriff, Wadena County Dispatch, & Menahga Fire
    • Bertha Ambulance & Todd County Dispatch
    • Sebeka Rescue, Wadena County Sheriff, & Wadena County Dispatch
  • Bear Award
    • Dave Cuppy & Chad Olson
  • Years of Service Star (In appreciation of loyal and dedicated service)
  • 15 Years: Dave Cuppy

EMS night is a free event held every March sponsored by Tri-County Health Care Emergency Medical Services and Central Minnesota EMS Region.

To learn more about the Tri-County Emergency Medical Services click here: