BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - It’s a fact: basic knowledge of first aid saves lives.

After completing a first aid course, Gold Award Girl Scout Isabelle L. decided that her own community needed to learn these essential skills. For her Girl Scout Gold Award Take Action Project, she organized six, one-hour first aid sessions at her local rescue squad in Berkeley Heights.

During her courses, which had more than 50 attendees overall, Isabelle covered CPR, automated external defibrillator use, and bleeding control. She also distributed 25 family-sized first aid kits as part of her Gold Award Project.

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“After taking my own course, I realized that many of the people around me knew very little about these essential skills,” Isabelle said. “This was a huge reason why I felt compelled to share these easy-to-learn skills with my town.”

After each session, participants received a PDF of an exercise booklet made by Isabelle that covered a more extensive list of first aid injuries. She also filmed two instructional videos regarding CPR and how to stop a bleed for the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad and other local squads to use. 

Isabelle, who is a graduating senior this year, said that one of her main goals was to introduce these techniques to others in her community in a comprehensive and easy-to-understand way.

She has been a part of Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) Troop 40488 for 10 years. Isabelle said she is “eternally grateful” for the opportunities provided to her through GSHNJ.

“Girl Scouts has been a source of support that has encouraged me to get out and be active in my community,” Isabelle said. “Girl Scouts is a dynamic learning experience that truly draws out your inner strengths and talents while still working to strengthen your weaknesses.”

She added that GSHNJ, and her pursuit of the pinnacle achievement in Girl Scouting, has prepared her for the real world. 

“Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and the doers; Isabelle fits both of those categories,” said GSHNJ CEO Natasha Hemmings. “Through her efforts, she could help to save many lives by presenting these life saving skills in such an all-inclusive way.”