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Whiz Kid Goes the Distance and Gives Back to Community

Desire to help others leads this high school senior to first aid squad.

Whiz Kid Goes the Distance and Gives Back to Community

Patch Whiz Kid/Team/Club of the Week: Sarah Bradley, high school senior

Whiz Kid's School/Church/Community Center: Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair

Whiz Kid's Accomplishment: Typically, teenagers don’t think about joining a first aid squad as an extracurricular activity, but Sarah Bradley is not your typical teenager. A motivated student and athlete, Bradley, who lives in Essex Fells, joined the nearly two years ago, and has already made a difference, helping her community, and learning skills far beyond a basic first aid class. A self-motivated individual, Bradley also accomplished something that most adults never do. Bradley ran in this year’s New York City Marathon—and yes, she finished! 

Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness: As a young child, Sarah Bradley looked up to those in the medical profession and dreamed of one day becoming a nurse. So, what better way to move toward her goal than to try out the medical profession by joining the West Essex First Aid Squad (WEFAS). Volunteering one night per week, and one weekend day or night per month, Bradley gives more than 16 hours of her time each month to the squad that has taught her more than just first aid.

“I have a lot of friends there now, and really love everyone,” said Bradley. “Riding around with someone for 12 hours can actually be a lot of fun.”

In order to ride, volunteers must be at least sixteen years of age, but Bradley began preparing well before her sweet sixteen.

“There is a long checklist of what you need to know before you can ride,” said Bradley. “I learned to use a blood pressure cuff, control bleeding, always wear gloves, how to use a backboard and stair chair, and a whole lot more.”

After turning 16, Bradley took an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class, earning her EMT-B certification in the state of N.J.; volunteered for several days at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson; and soon began taking her turn as a WEFAS volunteer.

“I like that I am helping others and making a difference,” added Bradley.

But, this Whiz Kid doesn’t spend all of her time on the WEFAS truck. After trying her hand at a variety of sports, Bradley joined the MKA track team last spring, running the 1600-meter, 3200-meter, and 4 x 4 relay, and decided to try something a bit bigger, the New York City Marathon. She began training in the summer, and in the fall, joined the school’s cross country team. The result? One of only approximately 80 runners under the age of 20 running in the marathon, Bradley finished the race in 4:52:31, and returned to high school the next morning, wearing her medal.

“My dad and I raced for the charity Team for Kids, and we were together for about the first five minutes,” said Bradley. “I wanted to take it slow and make sure I finished. Literally, the whole city is cheering for you. It is pretty amazing.”

Bradley is also a member of her school’s Diabetes Club, the school’s art magazine, Stylus, and a budding singer-songwriter. Recently, the school held a coffeehouse where the students shared their talents, including poetry readings, writings, and musical performances. Bradley composed and performed two songs for guitar, Stay Strong and We Walk This World.    

So, what is next for this soon to be high school graduate? “I want to be a nurse or maybe a teacher,” said Bradley. “I’m not really sure. I just know that I want to keep helping others.”  

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