A group of aspiring health professionals comes together at Skyridge High School in Lehi for meetings with junior and President Christian France-Lind in the driver’s seat.
The club, HOSA — Future Health Professionals, competes in different skillsets for medical professionals, tries to engage in the community to better help those in the medical field, and more.
Among other things, the group hosts blood drives and participates in service projects.
When looking into partnering with the Red Cross, the group of students found out that through a program the organization offers, they could receive Stop The Bleed kits. These kits are involved in a program run by the Department of Defense, with the goal of training people and providing the necessary equipment for clotting wounds during certain scenarios.
As a part of the program, the group of students also hosts blood drives on campus with the Red Cross, allowing for more hands-on experience while observing the organization’s phlebotomists do their work.
France-Lind said that the wound kits have been scattered around campus with the automated external defibrillators, as well as being placed in high-risk areas like the woodshop, agricultural shop, robotics shop, the welding shop, and other high-risk areas.
One of the other purposes behind these wound kits revolves around the possibility of a school shooting.
“The way that I look at it is, unfortunately, it is a matter of when, not if,” France-Lind said. “Our school has only been open for five years and there has already been a few close calls, that I am aware of, at the school.”
He brought up when someone threatened to shoot students at “SHS,” with France-Lind seeing enhanced security measures on campus along with snipers on the roofs of buildings at the school.
“In Utah Valley and the greater Salt Lake area, it’s going to happen at some point, so I’d like to think about it as learning from past experiences, we know what saves lives now, and we can take that and implement it in other schools,” France-Lind said.
The wound kits being distributed around campus also involve the training of students on what to do in those specific instances. France-Lind added that while the wound kits won’t necessarily stop a shooting, they could help save lives in the event of one and they’re a good tool to have if a similar scenario were to happen.
He even noticed that the wound kits were distributed around the Salt Lake City airport while he was traveling over Spring Break recently. He believes the kits will allow schools, like Skyridge, to be prepared for whatever may come up.
“As sad as it is, I like to look at it and say, I would rather be prepared and have a scenario happen where everyone is ready for it, rather than not be,” France-Lind said. “You probably grew up doing fire drills throughout school, that’s part of our fire drill now, an active shooter drill. I feel like we have implemented a lot of systems at the school, they can lock all of the doors from the office automatically, which can help mitigate those things, so I think that as sad as it is, we look at it and learn from it.”
As for the partnership with the Red Cross, France-Lind said he and the club have enjoyed working with the Red Cross to bring attention to this issue and also help collect blood from the community.
Anita Kay, a senior account manager with the American Red Cross, said blood drives are set up with the school, the kids recruit the donors, and the three blood drives that have been done this year have seen a large number of units collected.
“We have some good high school programs within the Red Cross because we want the opportunity to go into the schools to educate these young people on the importance of donating blood,” Kay said. “With this specific partnership, they have done a great job in organizing these blood drives and making them successful. It’s such a privilege to see and to work with these young kids that are so brave to donate, and we have the opportunity to educate these young kids on the importance of donating blood.”
Kay was also touched when she found out what the club was doing with the wound kits, adding that it makes her feel bad that they have to live in a time where students feel they have to do this but also adding that the group is saving lives in two ways with the program.
France-Lind also spoke to the high amounts of blood collected from the events, saying he is glad that through the program the school can receive the kits.
“I love working with the Red Cross because they are talking with other schools, HOSA is a club that is at the other schools in the Alpine School District, and we love to see that other schools are looking at us and we can talk about how great our partnership has been,” France-Lind said.
When asked about the ultimate hope for this program at Skyridge, France-Lind said he wants to bring awareness to the situation with the want for other high schools to see this and have their students trained on how to respond in the event of an emergency.
He continued, saying that the program has been awesome for the club. Through HOSA, the students have been able to tap into a great network of medical professionals from across the state and build a resume before college.
France-Lind is currently doing an internship with a sports medicine advisor, one that allows him to get hands-on experience that other students his age have not been able to get. He finished by saying that through HOSA and its partnerships, he has received some invaluable experiences.