Matt Dresden worked with four Farmington Public Safety officers and one of his classmates to put his Eagle Scout project together.

Matt Dresden worked with four Farmington Public Safety officers and one of his classmates to put his Eagle Scout project together.

Photo provided by Farmington Public Schools


Farmington High student brings Stop the Bleed kits, training to school

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published December 4, 2019

 The Farmington High School senior holds up a Stop the Bleed kit he created for his school.

The Farmington High School senior holds up a Stop the Bleed kit he created for his school.

Photo provided by Farmington Public Schools

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FARMINGTON — Farmington High School student and Boy Scout Troop 45 member Matt Dresden knew when he started working on his Eagle Scout project more than a year ago that he wanted to help improve the community’s safety.

He began with the idea of building first aid kits for Farmington Public Safety officers to keep in their cars, but in talking with former Farmington Hills Council member Richard Lerner about the Stop the Bleed program, Dresden found his topic.

Over the next year and a half, Dresden educated himself about Stop the Bleed, doing research; talking with Farmington Public Safety officers and other professionals involved; taking a training course with a few classmates, who later helped him with his Eagle Scout project; and troubleshooting the assembling of kits.

The national Stop the Bleed program was launched in October 2015 by the White House in an attempt to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped and empowered to help during a bleeding emergency before professional medical services arrive.

Dresden raised money throughout the community, pooling together approximately $1,500 from local business, family and friend donations, as well as donating a couple of hundred dollars from his own wallet.

After more than 100 hours of work on his project, Dresden, alongside a team of four Farmington Public Safety officers and peers,  finally saw his work come to fruition when he trained 75 staff members and donated 85 kits to Farmington High School. Each classroom and a few common areas at his school now have a Stop the Bleed kit in case of emergency.

According to the national Stop the Bleed campaign website, a traditional Stop the Bleed kit includes a tourniquet, a QuikClot bleeding control dressing, protective gloves, compression bandages, a permanent black marker and an instruction card.

Dresden said he’s proud to see his project completed.

“It’s kind of funny; I hope this project never gets used. I hope I wasted $1,500 and over 100 hours of work,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this myself. … (My team) was a very big help. They’re very appreciated.”

Dresden said his principal was paramount to his project’s success. Quick communication and guidance on how to work with staff really helped move his project forward, Dresden said.

“Not only is (his project) a great thing for our school now, but it’s a great thing for our school that will survive for years to come. I’m very proud of Matt’s accomplishments,” said Farmington High School Principal Tom Shelton. “The Stop the Bleed kits are obviously things we hope we never have to use, but they give us the sense of security and comfort knowing they’re there.”

Beyond learning about the Stop the Bleed program and how to execute the training himself, Dresden gained leadership qualities and a better sense of direction for his future.

“Learning about the project really sparked my interest into medication. I was kind of into (emergency medical technicians). At the time, I was taking an Explorers class with Community EMS in Southfield,” he said. “I was kind of looking into it, but now that I’ve furthered my knowledge of it, that’s something I’d be looking into in the future, of becoming an EMT.”

Dresden and Shelton both hope the project can have an impact beyond Dresden’s years with the district, and they hope it may spark other students’ interests in Stop the Bleed, as well.

“In the long-term future, Eagle Scouts can take on the project of refreshing the kits: adding supplies to them or replacing outdated supplies. In that sense, it can be an ongoing sense of comfort for our community,” Shelton said.

Shelton said he plans to make sure new staff are adequately trained and educated on the program once they’re hired and that current staff take refresher courses periodically.

Jon Manier, the executive director of student services for Farmington Public Schools, said the district has had some conversations with the Farmington Hills Fire Department about bringing the program to the district’s other schools.

“We don’t have a firm plan at this point, but we do see the value in it and want to invest in it,” Manier said.

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