Two Santa Clarita Valley sisters have raised more than $100,000 in an effort to place lifesaving medical equipment inside every classroom in the William S. Hart Union High School District.
Cambria and Maci Lawrence established the Keep the Pressure campaign to support the placement of emergency bleeding-control kits in all middle and high school classrooms as quickly as two months from now.
The kits will include tourniquets, shears, bandages and specialized quick-clotting hemostatic gauze, which could all be used in a multitude of situations, according to the two sisters.
“We were looking for a way to give back to our community,” said Cambria Lawrence, a freshman at Valencia High School. “We’ve been living in Santa Clarita our whole lives and we just want all of our family and friends to be safe if an emergency were to ever happen.”
The pair wanted to contribute something that the district didn’t have yet, “so we came up with this by thinking, ‘What are some ways we can help our community (in terms) of safety or in the case of an emergency?’” said Maci Lawrence, an eighth-grader at Legacy Christian Academy and sister to Cambria.
Both of the girls have said in the past that they find it fulfilling to be in a position where something they created could potentially save somebody’s life, said Dr. Tracy “Bud” Lawrence, the girls’ father and emergency department director at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
Having an emergency doctor at home, the family is quite passionate about safety and the sisters have thought about implementing a system at school that informs people on how to be helpful in emergency situations — as opposed to waiting for emergency services to arrive — for quite some time.
“We just went for it,” Maci said. “It’s not an easy task. It takes funding, planning and time, but if you want to do something like this, then just go for it at full effort. Think of something that not many people have done yet and go for it.”
Some funds for the project were contributed by the hospital, but most of the substantial amount was privately raised, the girls’ father said. The girls “met with vendors. They helped decide what would be in the kit. They were the driving force behind the logistics. They’ve had a huge part in the making this project happen.”
The girls’ “Keep the Pressure” campaign is an extension of the American College of Surgeons’ “Stop the Bleed” campaign — an initiative that provides diagrams, news, videos and other resources to inform the public on how to act in the event of massive bleeding.
“Today we live in a world where terrorism, the actions of unstable people and the dangerous impulses of friends and relatives are very real and becoming increasingly more frequent,” according to bleedingcontrol.org. “Massive bleeding from any cause, but particularly from an active shooter or explosive event where a response is delayed, can result in death,” as victims can quickly die from uncontrolled bleeding within five to 10 minutes.
“However, anyone at the scene can act as immediate responder and save lives if they know what to do,” the website states.
“We’re trying to supply the district with the tools that show you how,” Bud Lawrence said. With the assistance of Henry Mayo’s media department, the Hart District will receive an instruction video that will educate the district on how to respond appropriately.
“There are not very many school districts nationwide that can say they have a bleed kit in every classroom,” he said, adding that it’s a huge differentiator and it says a lot for the district’s ability to collaborate.
“Hopefully, these kits are never used, but if they are then they can potentially save a life,” Bud Lawrence said.
“We’re really grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it,” Cambria Lawrence said. “It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to save a person’s life if you needed to.”