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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. News Release: First Aid for Severe Trauma (FAST) Course Now Available

News Release: First Aid for Severe Trauma (FAST) Course Now Available

Release Date: August 19, 2021

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The First Aid for Severe Trauma (FASTTM) training program is now available to organizations and individuals seeking education on handling a life-threatening bleeding emergency. FAST is a STOP THE BLEED® course funded with grant support from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and developed by the Uniformed Services University’s National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health in collaboration with the American Red Cross. By adapting first aid techniques from combat for use by civilians, FAST empowers high school students with the skills and knowledge necessary to save the life of someone experiencing life-threatening bleeding. This education program is an integral part of S&T’s overall mission to help the nation prepare for and respond effectively to emergencies.

“When bleeding emergencies happen, trained adults may not be the first people on the scene,” said Ron Langhelm, S&T Program Manager for FAST. “With the release of FAST, we hope to empower high school students across the U.S. with the ability to save the life of a friend, family member, or  a stranger.”

The American Red Cross is offering the FAST course and digital materials at no charge to high school students under the age of 19. Three learning modalities are available: instructor-led, blended (online didactic session plus in-person, hands-on skills training), and online-only. An in-person skills session is required to finalize a student’s training and qualify for a two-year FAST certification.

Students will receive a participation certificate upon completion of the online-only course; full certification is only available for those who do a skills session, which involves practice and a successful test using both direct pressure and a tourniquet on a lifelike replica of a limb.

Organizations can offer FAST via the Red Cross using the sign-up webform on its landing page for FAST.  FAST Classroom Kits with the materials necessary for the skills training will be available through the Red Cross Store. The FAST program offers three Instructor training options:

  • The Instructor Bridge is for individuals who are current, certified Instructors from the Red Cross or other approved training agencies who have been trained in the use of tourniquets.
  • The Instructor Crossover with Skills Session is for individuals who are current, certified Red Cross Instructors or other approved training agencies but have not been trained in the use of tourniquets.
  • The full Instructor course is for individuals who are first-time Instructors or do not have credentials as instructors or professional educators.

For more information on S&T’s involvement with the FAST program, go to: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/first-aid-severe-trauma

For more information on the FAST program, go to: www.redcross.org/fast

Last Updated: 08/19/2021
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