Volunteers wanted to be 'zero responders' in wake of spiralling knife violence

Volunteers are being asked to learn how to give first aid to young people who are stabbed.

Zane Smart was just 15 when he was stabbed to death in May
Zane Smart was just 15 when he was stabbed to death in May

A team of "zero responders" is being set up after spiralling violence linked to gangs.

Bleed control kits are also being put in at violence hotspots as part of efforts to save lives in the aftermath of a stabbing.

Three organisations, Yes 2 Life, from Birmingham, Tytek, a bleed kit manufacturer from Wolverhampton, and the American Choose Love Foundation, are working together to fund the scheme.

Majid Khan, from Yes 2 Life, said: “We have delivered our Zero Responders scheme in other areas blighted by violence and were looking for a new area in the UK.

“We have researched the statistics and the communities which need help and have chosen Wolverhampton because of the recent rise in fatal stabbings, shootings and other violence.

“There are a lot of people hurting in Wolverhampton and communities which need our help.”

In May 15-year-old Zane Smart was stabbed to death in Pendeford, while the following month 16-year-old Ronan Kanda was fatally knifed in Lanesfield. There have also been multiple gang fights across Wolverhampton in recent months leaving scores of youngsters injured or in custody.

Mr Khan added: “We need people to get involved to make it a success. There is no point having bleed control kits if nobody knows how to use them. Those vital minutes before the emergency services arrive can be a matter of life and death and after attending out workshop people will feel confident to help.”

The latest spate of stabbings and killings caught the attention of anti-violence organisations across the world.

The American Choose Love Foundation was looking for a new area in the UK to help after working with Yes 2 Life in Kingstanding.

With Wolverhampton's violent crime victims and attackers getting younger, Yes 2 Life and Choose Love picked the city to embed the Zero Responders programme with Tytek Medical.

Youngsters will be educated the dangers of carrying knives and adults will be taught how to be a Zero Responder. Emergency services are called first responders but Zero Responders are the members of the public who are on the scene when the attack happens.

Statistics will be used to find out where bleed control kits should be installed to be near future stabbings and shootings. Zane Smart was stabbed to death in Pendeford in May and 16-year-old Ronan Kanda was fatally stabbed in Lanesfield.

Majid Khan has seen the benefit of the Zero Responder programme working in other communities blighted by tragic violence.

He said: "We need people in Wolverhampton to want to learn how to use them, those minutes after an injury and before the ambulance arrives are vital. The community benefits as more people become Zero Responders.

"What's is great is Tytek Medical, who we work with anyway, has their base in Wolverhampton and they do fantastic work producing and donating bleed control kits."

Tytek Medical is a global medical supplies manufacturer which has its UK base at Wolverhampton Science Park, which is where the workshop for the first 20 people who sign up will be held on Saturday, September 10.

The company has developed several kits which are designed to be used in the minutes after a major terrorist incident. Detailed research by Tytek revealed the majority of people do not know what to do if they see a person stabbed in front of them.

Tytek Medical director Matt Eccles said: "There is a stark disconnect between knowing the risks and being able to mitigate them

"It has never been more important to be educated, equipped and empowered to treat a catastrophic bleed and save lives. We are trying to make training readily available and for organisations to invest in making life-saving equipment easy to access."

The Choose Love Foundation was founded by Scarlett Lewis after her son Jesse was shot dead in the Sandy Hook School massacre in 2012 where 20 pupils and teachers were murdered by teenage gunman Adam Lanza.

Scarlett dedicated her life to trying to prevent teenage violence, first in America and then globally.

She said: "I totally understand the concept of zero responders and how bleed control kits can save lives. It took more than seven minutes for emergency services to get to Jesse’s school and a bleed control kit could have saved lives.

After meeting Majid and Bishop Desmond Jaddoo from Yes 2 Life Scarlett began directing Choose Love Foundation resouces to the UK.

She said: "To see the teenage deaths in Wolverhampton is heartbreaking, I hope we can make a difference."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News