A boy wraps another boy's arm
Students learn to wrap wounds during a National Guard training session at the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center on Aug. 29, 2023.

ASHLAND — Jeremiah Hogan held up a tourniquet in front of a room of 60 students at the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center. 

Hogan, a Sgt. 1st Class in the Army National Guard, explained that it only takes four or five minutes for someone to bleed to death. 

If you ever need to use one, Hogan said, you put it on high and tight. You turn it until the wound stops bleeding. Then, you record the time you put it on. That helps paramedics when they arrive on scene.

Hogan told students paramedics have to follow different procedures depending on how long a tourniquet was applied to a wound.

Hogan’s presentation to the Career Center students lasted about 90 minutes. The training covered lifesaving skills in the event of injury. All students at the Career Center received the training on Monday and Tuesday. 

Students learned how to put on a tourniquet, create a splint, pressure dress injuries and more. Then, students tried their hand at doing some of it themselves.

Students also received information about the benefits of joining the National Guard at the end of the presentation. 

Jeremiah Hogan looks at a student answering one of his questions during a presentation at the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center on Aug. 29, 2023. He’s holding a tourniquet. The presentation covered how to apply a tourniquet, splint an arm, address a chest injury and more.

“Throughout your life, at some point in time, you’ll deal with people who are injured,” Hogan told the students at the beginning of the presentation. 

That can happen in classrooms at the Career Center, where students deal with equipment. It can happen in students’ day-to-day lives. Or, in the event of a school shooting, students will know what to do to save lives, according to Hogan. 

School shootings are rare events, but the Washington Post’s school shooting database notes violent incidents have risen since 2018.

“We have another 500 people in the community who now know basic first aid,” Hogan said in an interview with Ashland Source after one of his presentations Tuesday.

Why offer the training?

T.J. Houston, Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center’s cybersecurity and networking instructor, is in the National Guard. He serves as a 25B IT specialist with the 112th Multifunctional Medical Battalion. He said he first brought this training to his own classroom two years ago. 

At a school safety meeting earlier this year, according to Houston, staff decided that they should be trained on lifesaving techniques. 

Houston said all staff at the Career Center went through the National Guard’s training over the summer. 

Then, the school safety team decided it was important for students to have the information too, Houston said.

“The big reason to do it here is that in case something happens to a teacher, they can save that life,” Hogan said. 

Hogan said students have all the equipment he showed them how to use in orange buckets in the classroom.

Houston said all students — unless they were absent — went through the training over the course of the school days on Monday and Tuesday.

The National Guard offered eight sessions during the two days: four on Monday, and four more on Tuesday. 

“I’d rather have students be over prepared than underprepared,” Houston said.

Students respond

Houston said he thought his students understood the content and why it was important information for them to know. He added students had a chance to see how the National Guard gives back to the community. 

Jeremiah Hogan (left) talks with two students as they practice some of the lessons they learned at a National Guard presentation on Aug. 29, 2023.

Hogan agreed. He said he thought students responded well to the training and enjoyed the hands-on nature of it. 

“We appreciate the school letting us do this,” Hogan said. 

He also said that having these types of events allows the National Guard to build a relationship with the school. Plus, Hogan said he loves teaching medicine.

Jacey Sermulis, a 17-year-old student working toward her cosmetology license, sat through a training session on Tuesday afternoon. She said it was cool that the National Guard offered the training. 

“I feel like some people don’t know a lot about this stuff, and it’s really vital,” Sermulis said. 

For Sermulis, the biggest takeaway was, “When in doubt, tourniquet it out.”

Hogan said if other schools had interest in hosting a training, they should reach out to their local National Guard recruiter. To find a recruiter in the area, you can visit the following link: https://nationalguard.com/recruiter.

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Ashland Source's Report for America corps member. She covers education and workforce development, among other things, for Ashland Source. Thomas comes to Ashland Source from Montana, where she graduated...