BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Isabelle Lin, a Girl Scout from Berkeley Heights Troop 40488, recently held three community CPR and First Aid training sessions as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award Project, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. 

The three sessions were successfully executed  thanks to the help of the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad (BHVRS), who provided the live presentations at their headquarters. BHVRS member Toni Gestone and EMTs demonstrated the correct methods of treatment for CPR/AED use and severe bleeding injuries to about 45 attendees.

Gestone, a member of the BHVRS for 11 years is the Recruitment and Membership Chair. She walked the attendees through the steps to take if you see a person collapse on the street. What do you do? "The first thing you want to do is to make sure the scene is safe," said Gestone. "If you aren't safe, you could get hurt and you won't be able to help anybody."

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She explained that you need to tell other bystanders to call 9-1-1 and to find an AED while you tend to the victim. She also provided tips on how to tell if the victim is unconscious, breathing and has a pulse. She then taught the group how to perform Bystander CPR (to the beat of the Bee Gee's tune "Stayin' Alive") until the police and EMTs arrive to the scene. If it's a serious situation, Gestone said, they will dispatch paramedics, which are a step above an EMT. Gestone, with the help of Lin then gave instruction on how to use the AED .

Lin is a senior at the Magnet School and has a passion for first aid and healthcare. "At my high school, I was lucky enough to take classes in first aid skills and become certified in CPR and basic life support," she said. "However, I recognized that not everyone knows what to do in an emergency situation, which is why I came up with the idea of holding informative first aid and community health sessions."

Although Lin is trained in CPR, she is not trained to teach, so the Rescue Squad's involvement was necessary to help her train the community and complete the project. 

To earn your Gold Award, Lin was required to direct the entire project. She approached the BHVRS about her plan, and they agreed to work with her to educate the community. 

With the Gold Award, there also needs to be an element of the project that is sustainable. Lin prepared instructional videos on CPR & AED Bystander Usage and Bleeding Control that can be seen on the BHVRS website. These videos required scripts, a videographer, acting and voice over. View videos below.


To learn more about the BHVRS, visit their website Volunteers are always needed.