WESTPORT — Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service will be teaching a free Stop the Bleed class on May 23 at 7 p.m. at its downtown headquarters.

The Stop the Bleed movement was started soon after the Sandy Hook School tragedy, with the goal of saving more lives during disasters. Stop the Bleed classes are taught in 90 countries and in all 50 states, with more than 500,000 trained, according to a news release. Stop the Bleed is intended to cultivate grassroots efforts that encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives.

The class will include lectures from Westport EMS personnel on how to control bleeding with direct pressure, wound packing, and tourniquets, and will also provide students with hands-on practice in these techniques.

“We are looking forward to bringing this national program here to Westport. Uncontrolled bleeding, whether caused by an accident in the kitchen or the backyard, or by an attack in a public place, can kill someone in a matter of minutes. In fact, 20 percent of all traumatic fatalities could have been prevented with rapid bleeding control. Every member of the public who knows how to stop the bleeding is a potential lifesaver,” Larry Kleinman, volunteer EMS crew chief and Stop the Bleed Westport coordinator, said in a statement.

The class is open to all members of the public. More information and free registration can be found at westportems.org/stopthebleed.