Temple University Hospital is taking strides towards helping the North Philadelphia community in the wake of gun violence. After the hospital treated more than 1,200 gunshot wounds last year, Tim Bryan, Assistant Director of Medical Services at Temple University Hospital, started the ‘Fighting Chance’ program to the give the community the power before first responders arrive.
The initiative is a two hour course that is taught around the community of North Philadelphia and focuses on bystander awareness. “They show up every day to the trauma bay trying to help their victims of this community, and now we’re just empowering them with the knowledge of how to do it safely and effectively,” says Bryan, who served as a combat medic in the military.
The program is free to attendees, and has reached maximum capacity at the prior sessions. The program begins with a short prevention, but the remainder is hands on. Community members break up into groups and are taught a variety of techniques to aid someone who has been shot. The groups practice how to safely evaluate the scene, treating a gunshot sound, and locating pressure points to stop a victim’s bleeding. All of the groups are led by nurses at the hospital, who volunteer their time for ‘Fighting Chance.’ At the end of the session, groups are tested to evaluate their progress.
“It’s helping our young kids, and the people out here, do better for out community,” said community member Lamar Williams.
The sessions are currently being held bi-weekly, but the hospital hopes to expand the program to a weekly basis, and expand throughout the city of Philadelphia. ‘Fighting Chance’ is also currently in the process of creating a training video. People can revive more information on the program by contacting Temple University Hospital at (215)-707-8398.