CHATHAM, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With all these school shootings, our children are growing up in a much different world than many of us did.

A local Girl Scout is trying to save lives by teaching others how to “Stop the Bleed” in an emergency, CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported Wednesday.

Melina Panagakos is 17 and a junior at Chatham High School. She started with the Girl Scouts in first grade and is now going for the group’s highest honor, the Gold Award.

“The Gold Award is equivalent to the Eagle Scout award for the Boy Scouts,” Panagakos said. “It’s a very big deal.”

To earn the award, she’s bringing a national campaign to her community. In response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the White House created the “Stop the Bleed” campaign four years ago. It teaches people what to do when faced with traumatic bleeding injuries.

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Melina took the training and is now teaching others in her community how to tie tourniquets and pack wounds.

“I think students are starting to now realize that they can make a difference as well. It’s not just teachers or staff members or parents,” she said.

Fellow classmates said they are excited to learn.

“I think all the students should be able to make a change and be able to do something if there’s an emergency,” Laura Macri said.

“If I’m informed on how to save someone’s life then I would feel safe going to school knowing that I could help someone else and that someone else could help me,” Aidan Walsh said.

Along with teaching, Melina is working to get “Stop the Bleed” kits into local schools.

“Inside of each one we have a tourniquet, you have hemostatic bandaging,” she said, showing Hsu the contents of the kit.

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She said she’d like them in the hallways, right next to defibrillators.

“It’ll be a great way for anyone to be able to access it if they’re ever in a situation that comes up,” Melina said.

Tim Brown is a flight nurse and has taught Melina you can bleed to death in less than three minutes, so it’s important for bystanders to know what to do in an emergency.

“If you’re able to respond in any emergency situation you can save a life and you can make a difference,” Melina said.

For the next two weekends, Melina will be offering “Stop the Bleed” classes at the Chatham Emergency Squad building.

To help Melina on her quest, please click here.


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