Teens hope to leave legacy in Cedarburg

The project could help save lives
Posted at 7:22 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 20:39:19-04

Cedarburg High School students have stepped up to a challenge that could change the way first responders handle a crisis. The project they're working on could help save lives of their friends and neighbors, too.

It started with a box delivered from Kapco Metal Stamping, who operates in Grafton. The school rallied two groups of students to take on the task of making an impact on first responders using $1,000 in seed money. 

The teens chose to fund the Cedarburg Fire Department's new equipment to respond safely in an active shooter situation.

"This could happen at the high school, the movie theater, a shopping center," said Det. Michael McNerney, the school resource officer for Cedarburg High School. "I mean, it could happen anywhere."Cedarburg High School. "I mean, it could happen anywhere."

McNerney said area agencies have trained for four years for a possible active shooter situation, but medical responders are just becoming part of the plan, which is why they need their equipment now.

"The immediate medical attention we can provide and remove them from that environment, the survival rate goes up tremendously. There's special equipment that we would like to buy," explained Jeff Vahsholtz, the City of Cedarburg Fire Chief.

The students hope they can help and draw attention to the positive work the agencies in Cedarburg do every day.

"We wanted to raise awareness to what they do and really thank them for all that they do," said Tyler Grisson, a senior on the project.

Grisson said he helped find this project because his father is an officer in Grafton. He wants to show law enforcement and first responders the appreciation they might not always get.

"I think it's just really cool to be able to have this big of an impact on the community," said Alex Hildebrand, another CHS senior on the project. It's a potentially life-saving impact, too.
"For them to provide this equipment helps us keep them safe," McNerney said.
Saving lives and saving taxpayer dollars.
"I put in close to $10,000 in our budget for next year, so again, any of the funds that can be raised to help offset that cost is a tremendous advantage to the taxpayers in our community," Vahsholtz said.
The teens said it's one way to start making an impact early.

"This is the future of the world and we're going to start making changes right now," Hildebrand said.

You can check out the team's Go Fund Me page here

The Kapco Charitable Challenge also include teams from Port Washington, Homestead and Grafton High Schools and some colleges, who compete in a different group. The Challenge ends October 25.