COLUMBUS, Ind.- A Columbus teenager is doing her part to help her community be more prepared for a mass shooting.
Seventeen-year-old Ana Singhal knows how scary and how helpless you can feel in those dangerous moments, because she’s been there. In January, Singhal and her family were in the Fort Lauderdale airport when a gunman opened fire, killing five people.
“While we were running away from the airport there was just a lot of chaos and I was wondering what I would do if anyone near me needed help; I realized I would have no clue,” said the Columbus North High School student.
Singhal decided she and others needed to know what to do an in emergency.
“Everybody should know what to do in a situation like that it really can happen anywhere and it can happen to anyone,” said Singhal.
The Department of Homeland Security started a project called “Stop the Bleed.” Singhal brought the campaign to her hometown. The Columbus North senior is handing out trauma kits. Inside each kit is a tourniquet, gauze, bandages and gloves--things that can make a critical difference until more help arrives.
“The biggest thing with this project is letting people know there is always something they can do before first responders get there. Knowing that they can help in a situation like that, I just wanted to give them the tools to do that by distributing the kits,” said Singhal.
Wednesday’s shooting during the Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria was yet another example of quickly a dangerous situation can quickly a dangerous situation can unfold.
So far, Singhal has handed out ten kits to organizations like community centers and churches in Columbus. It costs about $40 to assemble a “Stop the Bleed” kit. Singhal has even used some of her own money towards the project.
“I want everyone to feel empowered in a situation where most of the time everyone would feel helpless,” said Singhal.
This teenager wants more places in her community to be equip with these kits, but she hopes not a single one ever has to be used.
“The reality of the situation is this stuff has been happening .It never hurts to be prepared,” said Singhal.
This project has inspired Singhal to explore studying public health next year in college.
If you’re interested in helping Singhal, here’s how: https://www.gofundme.com/stop-the-bleed-indiana