Experts at The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) worked with the American Red Cross to design the First Aid for Severe Trauma, or FAST, course, which will educate high school students on how to treat victims' injuries, including traumatic bleeding events.
FAST is a program primarily aimed at high school students to teach them how to distinguish between life-threatening and non-life-threatening bleeding, and stop bleeding from severe wounds using tourniquets and direct pressure. FAST will also teach high school students efficient emergency communications skills and personal safety for rescuers and severe trauma victims.
Hundreds of high school students participated in a series of research sessions undertaken by NCDMPH. These researchers looked at a variety of educational modalities to find the most effective method of teaching this life-saving knowledge, such as online, instructor-led training, just-in-time instructions, or a combination. The National Center and the Red Cross made the FAST course free to high schools in early 2021, with the objective of widespread adoption.