By Kara A. Johnson
Hillsdale Hospital is offering a free program called “Stop the Bleed,” designed as a hands-on training session to teach local residents and students how to respond to serious traumas.
“Stop the Bleed” classes provide attendees with a lecture on what a trauma looks like, how to respond to the incident at hand, and how to prevent the victim from getting worse. Skills taught can be lifesaving in the wake of an unexpected emergency. Participants receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
Nicole Poston, clinical manager of the emergency department at Hillsdale Hospital, was inspired to start this program locally after attending a session in Lansing, MI.
This “Stop the Bleed” program has swept across the state in popularity, as it trains people to handle emergency situations that happen in public. In addition to offering this incredible program, Hillsdale Hospital has been taking initiative in the city and is currently working to get several safety emergency kits throughout the public schools and the college. Poston started this initiative alongside Jeremiah Hodshire, vice president of organizational and business development at Hillsdale Hospital.
“Each kit will include bandages, tourniquets, and sterilizing materials to aid the victim,” Poston said.
These kits were used during the class and are extremely beneficial to have in the event of an emergency.
“The goal of this initiative is to provide hands-on training to the public to respond to any critical situation where there is bloodshed.” Hodshire said, “We have been working to identify good places to have these kits, and are working on receiving the grant to allow us to get these kits placed around the city, especially in the schools and local college.”
The hospital is collecting monetary donations to help supply these kits to the public, as they are very costly but absolutely necessary in traumatic situations.
Freshman Gladys Oster attended one of the first “Stop The Bleed” sessions.
“I learned the importance of stuffing the wound and not changing out the material because of clotting.” Oster said.
This was one of the most important concepts stressed in class, and is included in the ABC’S of bloodshed trauma.
The ABC’s of bloodshed trauma include A — Alert, B — Bleeding, C — Compression. The three steps emphasize calling 911 immediately following a situation that requires attention, locating the source of the bleeding, the wound, and compressing the wound with bandages and direct and constant pressure.
Two more sessions are scheduled: Oct. 9 6 – 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 27 10 – 11:30 a.m. To sign up for this course by contacting Nicole Poston at 517 – 437-5132. The hospital is also accepting donations towards getting the kits throughout the city.
Within the past two years, Hillsdale Business Association has doubled its membership, according to President Coty Foster. Among other things, Foster attributes the growth of the HBA to increased awareness of the benefits it provides for local business owners.
The Hillsdale Business Association, which serves businesses in downtown Hillsdale, Hillsdale County, and beyond, is a nonprofit organization that provides services from Facebook advertising to networking events for local businesses. They host events, like the upcoming Awesome Autumn day which will celebrate fall in downtown Hillsdale, to attract the community to local businesses.
“The Hillsdale Business Association is trying to bring community and commerce together,” Sexton said. “That’s what we are about, connect the two and grow.”
During her time as President-elect, Sexton has reached out to local business owners and welcomed new business owners into the community. She runs the Hillsdale Business Association’s Facebook page, where she posts advertisements for HBA member’s businesses.
Sexton is a native of Toledo who vacationed in Hillsdale before moving to the city permanently in 2007.Inspired by old photos of downtown, Sexton said she wants to restore Hillsdale to its “former glory.”
“We need to go back there and give the people things to come downtown for and enjoy,” Sexton said.
She said she believes encouraging and supporting businesses through advertisements and events will help Hillsdale become the tourist destination it once was.
Jane Stewart served as president of the association five years ago and has owned Smith’s Flower Shop since 2010. Stewart said she believes in the work that Hillsdale Business Association does for the community: bringing people into the downtown stores and showing them what the city has to offer.
Stewart attributes the recent growth of the Hillsdale Business Association to the business owners, the Hillsdale Business Association executive board, and importantly to Sexton.
“Connie blew into our town and she is just a dream come true,” Stewart said.
Local business owners formed the association in 2007 to bring awareness to local businesses. As a nonprofit, all of its workers are volunteers, and the funds they raise from membership fees purchases insurance for the company and funds their four yearly events.
Foster says the Hillsdale Business Association’s growth is due not only to the increase in the number of businesses downtown, but also an increase in the awareness of the association’s work.
Foster grew up in Hillsdale and attended Hillsdale City Schools. After living in Grand Rapids for five years, he knew he wanted to go back home.
“The biggest thing I love about Hillsdale is what most people hate — walking in to local businesses and people know you by name,” Foster said. “Here, everybody knows your name.”
Foster is currently employed by County Bank.
This year, Foster says the association is focusing on rebranding, which includes emphasizing the importance of business around Hillsdale county instead of just the downtown area.
Foster extended gratitude toward all members of the Hillsdale Business Association, from the executive board to the members and businesses.
“I want to focus on membership as a whole and everybody who supports the Hillsdale Business Association,” Foster said. “If we didn’t have that we wouldn’t be growing, so thank you to the organization as a whole.
Stewart, a co-chair for Awesome Autumn event in late October, said that the HBA is great because of who it serves.
“That’s what makes our community so great. We have a lot of great people,” Stewart said.