It was all systems “GO” on Aug. 16 at Gemini Elementary School as members of the Melbourne Beach Volunteer Fire Department (MBVFD) and the Melbourne Beach Volunteer Firefighters Association (MBVFA) delivered 60 GO-Buckets to the school – enough to put one in every classroom.
The GO-Bucket concept originally began in 2016 in Ohio. The idea was to put lifesaving first-aid equipment and lock-down supplies in every classroom in the event of an act of violence.
“When we heard about this idea, we wanted to better prepare our community and bring this program here,” said Deputy Volunteer Fire Chief Gavin Brown.
In 2018, each public school in Brevard County public was provided with one bleeding control kit for the school. The kit contains a tourniquet, gauze, pressure dressing, chest seals, gloves, scissors, a survival blanket, a permanent marker, and an instruction card.
But Brown wanted to take it further – instead of just one or two kits per school, his department wanted to provide one for every classroom at Gemini, as well as training in how to use them for every member of staff.
And in addition to the kit, the GO-Bucket also contains other items useful in an emergency, including a CPR mask, a flashlight and spare batteries, a glow stick, duct tape, tissues, hand towels, lollipops and water bottles.
Each bucket costs $100; $50 for the kit and another $50 for the extra supplies, for a total project cost of $6,000, which was raised entirely through donations in a joint effort by MBVFA, which raised funds and paid for the program, and MBVFD, which assisted with logistics and training.
Instructor training hours would make the cost higher, but all training hours are being donated by volunteer first responders and town staff members.
Brown said the program also goes beyond the school. They have also supplied daycare centers, churches and some personal vehicles of first responders with GO-Buckets – for a total of 95 in town – and 100 trained community members.
Brown believes Melbourne Beach is the first municipality in Brevard County to reach this level of preparedness.
The MBVFD offers the Stop the Bleed training program to anyone in the community for free. If interested, contact the fire department to set up a class.