‘Stop the Bleed’: Cleveland Volunteers Ready to Save Lives

A group of citizens in Cleveland has trained to render life-saving aid to victims of gunshots and other trauma, reports Cleveland.com. Members of the city’s Wolfpack Gunshot Response Team sport red shirts illustrated with a wolf’s head. The group’s motto is “leave no homie behind.” They were trained in April to use battlefield methods–how to properly use a tourniquet or apply pressure to a bullet wound–to keep a trauma victim alive until medics arrive. The group is similar to Chicago’s Ujimaa, or UMedics, which was founded six years ago and has trained hundreds of young people to treat gunshot trauma. The groups are part of a national “Stop the Bleed” movement to train civilians to respond to traumatic injuries from violence, car accidents, and industrial or farm accidents.

The Cleveland group, based in a low-income building at East 55th Street and Chester Avenue, raised money to equip volunteers with distinctive orange trauma kits, which contain such things as gloves, blood-clotting gauze and a tourniquet. A founding member, Belton Sanders, 29, says he carries his kit everywhere. “One day, I may save someone’s life,” he said. “Being someone who is poor, I don’t have money to give, but I can give this skill to my community.” The effort has stoked something bigger. “It’s given some of the members a sense of purpose and self-esteem,” said Suncere Ali Shakur.