Editor's Note: We welcome this article by guest writer (and pioneer of the Internet) Vint Cerf. Mr. Cerf is Google's Chief Internet Evangelist, and has been a friend and supporter of Nova Labs since soon after its founding. We thank him for his continued involvement, and for engaging Nova Labs in this effort to support first responders and communities in Virginia.
On Saturday, October 23, a Nova Labs team of volunteers assembled 1,000 emergency kits for use by police, sheriffs, fire, and EMT responders to injuries requiring the use of tourniquets to stop bleeding. A serious arterial wound, if not immediately treated, can lead to loss of life in minutes owing to rapid bleed out. An engineer in Atlanta, Tim O'Neil, discovered that many first responders did not have proper equipment to deal with such injuries and were using unsatisfactory substitutes such as a belts or makeshift straps.
O'Neil began assembling kits to send especially to rural locales that lacked this kind of equipment. I contacted Gov. Northam in Richmond who put me in touch with Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security (VAPSHS), and Shawn Talmadge, Deputy Secretary. We agreed to arrange for the assembly of 1,000 emergency kits. I then contacted Bradley Matthews, President of Nova Labs, located literally across the street from Google's new Reston building, in Isaac Newton Square, to ask whether he could assemble a team of Makers to assemble the kits. His reply was an enthusiastic "YES!"
We ordered the necessary parts via Tim O'Neil's non-profit, Saving Lives America organization. Bradley Matthews issued a call for action and the team assembled 1,000 kits and boxed them for shipment to locations designated by VAPSHS.
Google has supported Nova Labs for some years now. It is a great Maker Space that has served thousands of young people and not a few adults interested in making things. A number of our Reston Googlers have participated in Nova Labs activities over the years. Their building in Isaac Newton Square is set to be razed for new construction so they are moving to a big new building in Fairfax City which they have purchased. The Fairfax City Economic Development Authority is assisting them in this acquisition.