Teacher Mary Woodson practices securing a tourniquet
Teacher Mary Woodson practices securing a tourniquet on the leg of student Connor Nichols while Paramedic Philip Nichols coaches her. Watching are Rockvale Elementary School Principal Dayna Nichols and teacher Kristi DeGraw.

Rockvale Elementary School teachers became the students when Emergency Medical Services paramedics taught life-saving measures during in-service last week.

Paramedics Mike Johnson and Philip Nichols spent their day off work teaching “The ABCs of Bleeding:”

  • Alert.
  • Bleeding injury.
  • Compress. Apply pressure to stop bleeding.

Johnson and Nichols emphasized how stopping the bleeding can save lives.

“The only thing more tragic than death is death that could have been prevented,” Johnson told the teachers.


Greg: Assistant Principal Randall Uptain of Rockvale Elementary
Greg: Assistant Principal Randall Uptain of Rockvale Elementary School tightens the tourniquet on School Resource Officer Greg King during a class on how to stop bleeding.

Because of his care about the students, School Resource Officer Greg King suggested to Principal Dayna Nichols the paramedics teach the class for educators in case of severe injuries to a child.


The teachers can prepare for the medical care until EMS arrives, King said.

“If they train, they know what they are going to be doing and can accomplish what they need to do and have confidence,” King said.

Principal Nichols said teachers are trained during school safety drills being conducted this month by the SRO Division and Rutherford County Schools.

But the principal asked, “In the event something happens, what do you do until you get help? The more we train, the more prepared we are.”

She agreed and enlisted her paramedic son, Philip, and Johnson to teach.

Paramedic Nichols said stopping the bleeding is the priority in saving lives.

The paramedics instructed how to use a tourniquet to stop bleeding and helped teachers apply the tourniquet to each other. The paramedics showed how to pack bleeding wounds.

Afterwards, the teachers gathered in classrooms to practice.

Connor Nichols, the principal’s good-natured grandson who is a Rockvale student and the paramedic’s on, allowed teachers to practice their skills on him.

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