Hillsdale Hos­pital Evan Carter | Col­legian

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.