Shark-Related ‘Stop the Bleed’ Training Sessions Begin in Chatham

CHATHAM – The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) and the Town of Orleans Fire Rescue and Natural Resource Department kicked off the brand new ‘Stop the Bleed’ campaign on Thursday.

The program provided local surfers and the wider community with training in life-saving skills related to shark attacks. The training focused on the basic techniques of bleeding control.

“The course in an emergency response course so that people are able to respond to significant blood loss. It’s a course we’ve discussed in the Regional Shark Working Group meeting,” said Cynthia Wigren of AWSC.

“On the Lower Cape, all the towns were very interested to offer this training to empower the general public.”

‘Stop the Bleed’ was initiated by a federal interagency workgroup in the wake of two shark attacks on the Cape over the summer, one of those being fatal.

Wigren said that the AWSC and Shark Working Group are continuing to discuss ways of improving public safety. She also acknowledged the fact that the groups cannot eliminate all of the risk of shark attacks occurring.

“This is a goal of ours in the public safety community to teach hundreds and hundreds of people basic stop the bleeding skills,” said Orleans Fire Chief Anthony Pike.

“Our goal is to have anybody that works on or near the waterfront to have these skills and that’s what we endeavor to do all winter long,” Pike said.

“The first response is going to be critical if there is shark bite,” Wigren said.

“We know from the incident that occurred off of Truro that the nurses on the beach that day and the bystanders that jumped into action to help really played a role in saving that individual’s life. We want to make sure that everyone who has interest, who is going to the beaches, can be trained in those life-saving measures.”

The training courses are free and open to the public and are led by Orleans Fire Rescue.

The next scheduled courses are set for November 1 and November 8, both running from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the AWSC’s Shark Center in Chatham.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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