Providence ministry and community partners help keep students safe, healthy

Undersheriff Joe Klundt (left) and Sgt. Kevan Maas of the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office examine the contents of a trauma kit.

In the rolling farmland of rural Walla Walla County in Washington, there often are many miles between students and the schools they attend. The closest hospital often is even further.   

“For an ambulance to get here is 30 minutes, and 30 minutes is huge if it is life and death,” said Justin T. Bradford, Jr., superintendent of the Prescott School District.  

Bradford’s school district is among the recipients of an innovative project led by the Walla Walla Sheriff’s Foundation, funded by Providence St. Mary Medical Center and other community partners, to put trauma kits in schools and buses in rural areas and train school personnel how to use them. Unlike first aid kits, trauma kits contain additional supplies for immediate treatment of life-threatening injuries.   

The Prescott School District serves the northern portion of Walla Walla County. The area has first responders who respond rapidly, but in a serious trauma a person can lose their life within a few minutes. The use of trauma kits can help stop bleeding, preserve life and buy time for emergency medical care to arrive, take over treatment and transport the individual to a hospital.   

“Our school buses travel quite a bit every day,” Bradford said. “Many of our kids come from 20 miles away. There is nothing between here and there but wide-open space. Having the ability to respond in case something happens is one more thing to keep our students safe.”