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Teaching Life Saving Techniques in the Black Community

Published in print Feb. 2, 2018

Work furthered through grants and collaboration with new partners

By Patrice K. Muhammad

Brannon Dunn, literally, keeps his finger on the pulse of Lexington’s East End neighborhood residents.

Americans love guns and gun violence is an ever present threat in America. There are reportedly 88 registered guns for every 100 persons in this country.  The United States is by far the world leader for gun ownership and and has 11 times more mass shootings than any other developed country, according to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences.

More than 100,000 people are shot each year. About 33,000 people die from gun violence annually, more than half of suicide.

The biggest cause of death from handguns is blood loss. The chances of surviving a gunshot improve when first aid is administered properly.

Brannon started a program, Stop Bleeding – Blood Loss Prevention which provides free training in first aid (wound care), CPR (help breathing) and AED (used in cardiac emergency).

Through grass roots effort, Brannon has supplied backpacks which equip trainees to be first responders.

“Lots of times gun violence happens at night. With more people trained to give first aid and CPR in each neighborhood, we’d be able to save more lives. [In cases of gunshot] Lexington police come in to clear the scene and arrive before the paramedics. Most times people are on the scene and have call 911 but don’t know what else to do while someone is dying from the brain damage caused by blood loss while they were passed out,” he said.

A founding member of the several organizations founded to do bring solutions to problems, Dunn said he’d see a need and get to work.

However, his great work was limited to the extent of his personal finances and donations made by friends and family. Grants were not appealing to Brannon.

“I was doing everything out of pocket and always against grants. I was in the mindset that some people depend on grants to do things. What happens if you don’t get the grant? I felt like the people who give the grants would try to control the people and who you serve.”

Last year, Brannon attended an “On The Table” conversation at the Northside Public Library. The city-wide event, sponsored by Bluegrass Community Foundation (BGCF), encouraged small conversations among friends and community members.

Even without knowing what to expect, despite not hearing anything positive about BGCF, Brannon attended and investigated.

“Anytime there’s something going on your community, people should know something about it. And if somebody’s trying to offer aid or assistance we should be there to see if it’s on the up and up. Even if you feel its negative, be willing to work with people who are in your own community,” Brannon said.

On The Table 2017 was Brannon’s first personal interaction with BGCF. Several months later, through his neighborhood association, he heard about East End specific grants available through BGCF. Taking a chance, Brandon applied and was awarded $2500 to further his work with Stop Bleeding.

Brannon’s fear of micromanagement and control were not validated through the experience. Describing his relationship with BGCF he said, “It’s beautiful, they’ve been hands off.”

“I wasn’t a 501(c)3 so I got a fiscal agent. I chose NoLi CDC and that’s been a beautiful relationship. They’ve been easy to work with and call me and ask if I need more money. I haven’t used it all yet,” Brannon said. “I’ve heard conversations against NoLi and gentrification and I’m getting to know what they’re doing. It’s funny how things work. I didn’t think much of BGCF either.’’

With grant funds, Dunn has been able to purchase mannequins, trauma trainers (for gunshot, stabbing) and provided bags “for people who want to be first responders so they have the necessities to save someone’s life.”

Collaboration didn’t call for a change in focus. Still devoted to his own community, Dunn wants to have trained people on every block in the East End to save Black lives.

  • For Training or assistance call the Resolve Hotline 859-429-2114. Free hands only CPR classes (additional cost for Red Cross certification).
  • To host or attend the next On The Table city wide conversation happening March 28, 2018 visit  www.bgcf.org/onthetable
  • 2017 On The Table Impact report now online at www.bgcf.org/onthetable/2017impactreport

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