SHS Cadets Continue Progress with Stop the Bleed Program

Spurred by their concern over school shootings, JROTC cadets Ethan Swartz and Kadence Distefano decided to do something to make a difference to protect students and staff members. After 15 months of hard work and dedication. Swartz and Distefano 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 2023. The completion of Phase II, which involved obtaining 88 Stop the Bleed kits to outfit every classroom and office space at Smithfield High, was completed on November 2, when the last kit was delivered to Judy Carter, the Certified Nurse Assistant Instructor. Swartz said, “Every classroom and office at SHS now has a Stop the Bleed kit. With past and future training, all areas should have a trained JROTC cadet or teacher close by.” Swartz and Distefano acknowledged the support of many donors who made this goal possible, including the Smithfield Lions Club, Carrollton Ruritans, Windsor Ruritans, Education Foundation for Isle of Wight Public Schools, John Collick, Eclipse Pets, PALLADIUM, David and Judy Bowden, Patty Croaker who created a Go Fund Me site for donations, and the many other individual donors. They noted that the tremendous support from the community will ultimately save lives. The students also recognized School Board members Mark Wooster and Michael Cunningham who volunteered to conduct the initial Stop the Bleed instruction and training with cadets and employees at SHS. For Phase III of this project, the students are working with the school division's Security and Emergency Management Supervisor Jason Brinkley and the IWCS School Board to obtain funding or donations so all schools have the ability to save lives in the event of a catastrophe. “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. The skills these cadets have learned can be used anywhere to save lives.”