March 26, 2024

Securing Sanctuaries with Bleeding Control Kits

In an age where preparedness is paramount, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) has taken a proactive approach to enhancing the resilience of houses of worship across the state by providing them with bleeding control kits. This initiative, funded through FEMA, is based on the national “Stop the Bleed” awareness campaign, and is made possible through the assistance of public and private sector partners, such as New Jersey’s Interfaith Advisory Council Executive Committee, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ, Rutgers University, and others.  

This initiative was conceived out of the risk of domestic extremists using houses of worship as soft targets due to the mass gatherings that take place in these locations, along with the symbolism and ideals they represent. In the event of an active shooter or other hostile event, these kits could help prevent deaths amongst victims with traumatic injuries.

Laurie Doran, Director of NJOHSP, explains, “A victim, depending on the wound’s location and severity, may have five to eight minutes to slow blood loss. While many religious organizations have become more vigilant with mitigating risks and threat levels, the quick action of bystanders can drastically improve the survivability of the wounded as they wait for first responder’s arrival. Equipping houses of worship and parishioners with vital training and lifesaving kits will better prepare them for an incident.”  

The kits contain items used to stop extreme hemorrhaging and pneumothorax injuries, including: 

  • A combat application tourniquet 
  • A 4-inch emergency pressure bandage 
  • Compression crinkle gauze 
  • 2 chest seals 
  • Medical gloves 
  • Trauma sheers 

The success of this initiative relies on the buy-in and dedication of New Jersey’s houses of worship, as all who receive the kits must first undergo basic Stop the Bleed training. Luckily, Federation’s Community Security Initiative (CSI) team is ahead of the curve, with Director of Training Greg Drucks already completing this training with multiple Jewish institutions within Greater MetroWest. Each of those houses of worship will automatically receive their kit. For those that have not yet trained, contact Greg Drucks at [email protected] to become a part of this life saving program.