Mass shooting survivor teaches people how to save lives

‘Stop the Bleed’ helps people learn to save lives and empower themselves in an emergency

Mass shooting survivor teaches people how to save lives
Police respond to Fountain Square where a gunman opened fire at Fifth Third Bank killing three and wounding two.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Whitney Austin is a multiple gunshot survivor. She was shot 12 times at the Fifth Third Bank shooting in Cincinnati in 2018.

Austin said that part of her therapy has been being part of the change. She organized an event to teach people how to stop the bleed and save a life because she says that’s what helped save hers.

“[I] sat in the hospital the first week of the shooting and thought of all the things we could do to fight gun violence,” said Austin.

Those thoughts happened the first week of September 2018. Four people were killed at the Fifth and Third Bank in Cincinnati. Whitney was shot 12 times.

“People want to do something now,” Austin said. “They’re upset, they’re hurt, they’re craving the ability to make change.”

Austin started creating that ability in her hospital bed. She created Whitney Strong.

“My life was literally saved by Stop the Bleed training,” said Austin.

The second Austin was pulled out of the revolving door at the bank pressure was applied to her wounds. Austin said that officer had just finished Stop the Bleed training.

Austin planned Stop the Bleed at UofL. People in uniform taught people without a badge how to save a life. UofL Resident Aaron Marshall demonstrated how to apply pressure and tourniquets at the stations.

“Violent crime is becoming increasingly prevalent,” Marshall said. “A lot of times things happened without doctors, physicians, nurses or EMTS present.”

In an hour and a half people who had never worked in the medical field learned how to stop the bleed and pack tissue into wounds. The same skills Austin will never forget saved her life.

“It’s definitely a roller coaster, but I try not to get involved in the roller coaster,” said Austin.

There are no other Stop the Bleed events currently planned. However, there are ways you can learn these lifesaving skills.

For more information on Stop the Bleed workshops and Whitney Strong, click here. The Department of Homeland Security has a page on Stop the Bleed courses which can be found here.

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