Eagle project gives bleeding-control kits to schools

At the packing are, from left, Bob Hayes, member of the Glen Ridge Ambulance Squad (GRVAS), Scout Wesley Steele, Eric Weston, Scout James Weston, Scout Andrew Leccese, Assistant Scout Leader John Davitt, GRVAS member Julie Zichelli, Scout Colin Davitt and Scout Aidan Davitt.

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — In reaction to the rash of school shootings in the United States, Andrew Leccese, an Eagle Scout candidate in Troop 855, Glen Ridge, wants his local school district to be prepared for a day he hopes never happens. He raised funds to purchase and then gathered a team of Scouts to assemble bleeding-control kits for the Glen Ridge Public School system. He had proposed this project to his troop leaders one day before the tragedy in Parkland, Fla., which claimed the lives of 17 students.

As a volunteer EMT to the Glen Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Squad, Andrew realized the inherent weakness in responding to a large-scale incidents Emergency medical personnel have to wait outside of the area until police give the all-clear. This is a serious issue for anyone bleeding from a gun wound when time is a critical factor. Equipping personnel with bleeding control kits could save lives. His project also involved training the Glen Ridge school staff in how to use the tools provided in the kits. Each bleeding control kit has tourniquets, gauze and other necessary supplies to control bleeding. Andrew had set up a Go Fund Me page and sold coffee to morning commuters to reach his goal of $4,000.

Iryna Carey, captain of the Glen Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Squad, supports the project. “Andrew’s Eagle Scout project is timely and progressive. He is providing not only the kits complete with the tools to save a life, but is also coordinating formal instruction on how to use the kits for any life-threatening bleeding emergency. Sometime people are afraid to act, however, providing tools and knowledge may give someone the confidence to step in and save a life.”

Andrew plans on presenting the kits to the schools by the end January. The kits were assembled by the Scouts of Troop 855 on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Glen Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Squad Headquarters, 3 Herman St. Glen Ridge.

Andrew would like to thank Dirk Phillips, superintendent of the Glen Ridge Public Schools; the Glen Ridge Board of Education; Iryna Lomaga Carey, captain of the Glen Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Squad; as well as other groups and individuals for their support to the project.