Lee's Story: Aspiring to Improve Emergency Medic Technology

Author: Teresa Walker
Event Date: August 23, 2022
"I'm an EMT and First Responder. Can I help?" Those words came from First-Year Engineering student Lee Haglid from Ridgewood, New Jersey, who knew exactly what to do when classmate Aytaj Aslanli was injured by a fallen tree branch last week. Lee jumped into action and helped Aytaj until Purdue paramedics arrived on the scene.

Once Aytaj was in the medics’ care, we learned more about Lee and asked the question you might also be wondering, “How did you become a certified EMT and First Responder? Why?” 

Lee Haglid, First-Year Engineering student from Ridgewood, New Jersey

Photo: Lee Haglid, First-Year Engineering student 

Lee's story

Lee chose Purdue University for their persistent pursuit to develop lifesaving equipment for emergency trauma care. “I’m here to study biomedical engineering and do research on technology that EMTs might use. I’ve already started working on a project and my first prototype. I’ll then look to patent it.” The project, a portable cooling device intended to be used in emergency medicine, won first place in the New Jersey 2022 STEAM Tank High School Challenge. 

The pursuit started in high school when Lee chose the medical track for their high school plan of study. “As part of the track, our class went to the hospital. That is when I found myself really liking the medical technology.” Lee was also part of the prestigious New Jersey Governor’s STEM Scholars Program, one of 95 students who graduated from the state’s year long program last year. 

Lee worked toward an EMT certification their senior year at Ridgewood High School. This was not easy to accomplish for an already busy and ambitious senior. The program involved night classes, each four hours long, two days a week and some weekends. After six months and a certification, Lee began volunteering for their hometown’s emergency medical service. 

Lee captures the very essence of a Purdue Boilermaker on the persistent pursuit.

With only their first few steps newly planted on campus, Lee has already made strides by stepping up to help others. And for their giant leap? Lee dreams of starting an engineering firm. 

For Aytaj, she is doing much better! "Thanks to Lee for her first aid and making me calmer. I am also grateful for [BGR TL] Jennifer, as she was there for me the whole day.”