Stop The Bleed Training

Center for Wilderness Safety is one of only a handful of Dept. of Defense
licensed program providers, offering the national
Stop The Bleed program - serving the greater Northern Virginia area only.

Stop The Bleed!

C-A-T Tourniquet

Blood loss is the leading cause of preventable death in multiple casualty events, like mass shootings, terrorist attacks and earthquakes. Significant external bleeding can also result from everyday events such as a motorcycle crash, or an industrial accident. Rapid control of bleeding at the scene of the event can be life-saving.

That’s why the American College of Surgeons, FEMA, and the US Department of Homeland Security have partnered together to ensure that:

   • Bystanders have skills &knowledge to provide immediate bleeding control in an emergency.
   • Bleeding control supplies are located in all public gathering locations next to AEDs.
   • Bleeding control education is incorporated into our schools and workplace.
   • People know what to do in an active shooter situation.

Mass casualty events can happen at anytime and anywhere. At your workplace, at the game, during your commute, or even at your house. Stop The Bleed training will equip participants with the knowledge to save lives.


About The Course

This FREE 1 to 2-hour training course teaches basic life-saving medical interventions, including a brief Active Shooter preparedness presentation and methods to control severe bleeding. Taught by experienced EMT's, paramedics, nurses, and combat medics, the course was developed in response to the call from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to improve the chances of survival during an active shooter and other mass casualty events. In these circumstances, survival begins with bystanders.

Upon completion, participants will be able to:
   • Understand the principles of your response during an active shooter event.
   • Describe the progressive strategy for controlling hemorrhage.
   • Demonstrate wound packing and learn about topical hemostatic dressings.
   • Explain the rationale for early use of a tourniquet for life-threatening extremity bleeding.
   • Demonstrate the appropriate application of a tourniquet to the arm and leg.

This course is based on a curriculum developed by National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and modified and taught by Center for Wilderness Safety.

Who Should Be Trained?

EVERYONE! Severe bleeding injuries can result from natural and man-made disasters and from everyday accidents, as well as from catastrophic and terrorist incidents. If left unmanaged, it can kill within minutes, potentially before trained responders can arrive. Bystanders who have been provided with basic tools and information on the simple steps they can take in an emergency situation to stop life threatening bleeding can SAVE LIVES!

Research has shown that bystanders – even with very little medical training – can become heroic lifesavers. Similar to the success of CPR or the use of an AED, improving public awareness about how to stop severe bleeding and expanding both personal and public access to bleeding control kits can be the difference between life and death for an injured person.


Who Can Take This Course?

EVERYONE! Learning to control bleeding is an essential skill that anyone can apply to save lives, just like CPR. In particular, these skills are important for non-tactical law enforcement, firefighters, security personnel, emergency coordinators and teachers. In addition, we recommend that all workplaces, schools and churches have multiple employees/members trained in bleeding control.

If you have any questions, please contact us at


Can You Come Teach At Our Location?

We will work with you to develop a program for your workplace. We will prepare your trainers, emergency coordinators, or other qualified individuals to provide bleeding control training. The minimum number of participants recommended is at least 6, however the more, the better!

For more information on setting up a workplace training program for your company, school or organization, please contact us at


C-A-T TourniquetIn recognition of the growing threat of mass casualty events and the need for enhanced training of bystanders to manage life threatening bleeding in these situations, we encourage the installation of bleeding control kits in public buildings where large numbers of people gather.

These kits will provide the tools to allow immediate management of life-threatening hemorrhage until EMS providers can arrive. Events such as the Boston Marathon bombings and recent mass shootings highlight the need for increased availability of effective, commercial tourniquets. Improvised tourniquets are often ineffective and can actually make bleeding worse if arterial inflow is not occluded.



QuikClot hemostatic devices are different from standard gauze and other hemostatic agents because it stops bleeding significantly faster and are more effective than standard gauze.

Unlike other hemostatic agents, QuikClot is impregnated with kaolin, an inorganic mineral that accelerates the body’s natural clotting ability and produces no exothermic reaction. So what does it do? If one were to apply well-aimed direct pressure using gauze to a severe, potentially life-threatening bleed, it would take roughly 20 to 30 minutes to clot (proteins building a mesh in the blood vessel to close the open bleed). When well-aimed direct pressure is applied to the bleed using QuikClot instead of gauze, a full clot should be formed within two and a half minutes or less!


Bleeding Control Kits

Bleeding Control KitA Bleeding Control Kit contains only the essential medical equipment and supplies required to save a life in the event of immediate, life threatening bleeding.  A kit can be designed for a personal or home situation or for a larger more public venue.

Each kit should contain these basic items:
   • Nitrile (non-latex) gloves
   • Packing gauze
   • Israeli compression bandage
   • Tourniquet (C-A-T or SOFT-T)
   • Permanent marker
   • QuikClot hemostatic agent (optional)
   • Chest seal (optional)
   • Ultralight rescue litter (optional)

Public access kits should contain supplies to treat multiple victims, and may also include specialized contents such as QuikClot (hemostatic), a chest seal (for open chest wounds), and an ultralight litter to quickly move a victim to safety.


Where Should Bleeding Control Kits Be Mounted?

Large multi-person commercial bleeding control kits should be mounted in all public access areas including but not limited to those listed below:

   • Schools
   • College Campuses
   • Businesses
   • Airports
   • Train Stations
   • Movie Theaters
   • Stadiums & Arenas
   • Concert Halls
   • Courthouses
   • Shopping Malls
   • Libraries

Bleeding Control Kits should be mounted right next to all existing Automatic Defibrillators (AED). We also recommend that a smaller, personal kit be kept in or along with your emergency or disaster supply bag or kit, in your car, with your camping gear, etc.


Where Can One Buy Bleeding Control Kits?

While there are several commercial companies that offer bleeding control kits, CWS does offer basic and advanced Bleeding Control Kits which can be kept in the same wall-mounted cabinets as most AEDs, and are small enough to easily fit in most glove compartments, desk drawers, and even in your backpack!

Click to learn more about our Bleeding Control Kits - or you can purchase the items individually and put together your own kit as well.

When purchasing your own individual tourniquets, we would recommend either the C-A-T (Combat Application Tourniquet) or the SOFT-T (Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet Wide), both available online at the CWS First Aid Gear Shop.


Can't I Simply Improvise a Tourniquet?

Studies have shown that most improvised tourniquets are rarely as effective as commercially manufactured tourniquets because they cannot be tightened enough to actually stop bleeding effectively. This is especially true for arterial wounds. As a matter of fact, often these improvised tourniquets can make the bleeding worse by preventing venous return.

Belts cannot typically be tightened enough; rope or string is too thin to actually stop arterial bleeding and will just cause more tissue damage, while not stopping bleeding.

When purchasing your own individual tourniquets, we would recommend either the C-A-T (Combat Application Tourniquet) or the SOFT-T (Special Operations Forces Tactical Tourniquet Wide), both available online at the CWS First Aid Gear Shop.

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NOTICE: Due to the Coronavirus, our offices are CLOSED and our staff are working remotely.
ALL COURSES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED through August 2020. Need to reach us? Email