Due to the increase in school shootings over the past few years, SHS JROTC cadets Ethan Swartz and Kadence Distefano decided to do something to make a difference to protect our students and faculty. After 15 months of hard work and dedication, Ethan and Distefano have completed Phase II of their Stop the Bleed project. Phase I, the Stop the bleed training for all JROTC cadets, and teachers who chose to attend, was completed in April of this year.
The completion of Phase II, which was to obtain 88 stop the bleed kits to outfit every classroom and office space at SHS, was completed on November 2nd, with the last kit being delivered to Ms. Judy Carter, the Certified Nurse Assistant Instructor. Ethan Swartz said, “Every classroom and office now has a Stop the Bleed kit, and with our continued STB training, a trained JROTC cadet or teacher should be close by.” Ethan and Kadence both stated, ”We could not have done this without the help of our many donors: the Smithfield Lions Club, The Carrollton Ruritans, Windsor Ruritans, Patty Croaker who helped us set up a go fund me, John Collick, Eclipse Pets, PALLADIUM, and David and Judy Bowden, along with many other individual donors; from the bottom of our hearts, thank you Isle of Wight County your donations and support can do nothing but save lives.” We also wanted to thank School Board members, Mark Wooster and Mike Cunningham, for volunteering to conduct the initial STB instruction and training.
Phase III of this project is working with Isle of Wight Central Office Safety and Security Officer, Mr. Jason Brinkley, and the IOWC School Board to obtain funding or donations, so all schools have the ability to save lives in the event of a catastrophy. “I applaud Ethan and Kadence for making a difference. LTC Peter Badoian, the JROTC Senior Army Instructor said, “These two, with the assistance of their parents, have made a difference for every teacher and student at SHS. Hopefully, these kits will never have to be used, but if something does happen lives can now be saved that would not have and the skills these cadets have learned can be used anywhere to save lives.”
Below: Ethan Swartz and Kadence DiStefano deliver the last STB kit to Ms Judy Carter to complete Phase II of their project.