COLUMBIA, SC—Prisma Health and Richland County Sheriff’s Department are partnering to offer Firearm Safety and Stop the Bleed workshops in March.
In partnership with Project ChildSafe®, the nationwide firearm safety education program, safety kits—which include safety curriculum and a cable-style gun lock—will be distributed at the free events. The 1.5-hour workshops will be held:
The organizations are partnering with Project ChildSafe in their national effort to promote firearms safety education to all gun owners. South Carolina has the 11th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States; however, because of organizations like these, firearm-related fatalities in the U.S. have dropped 60 percent in the past 20 years.
“If we can prevent one accident or death by offering these firearm safety workshops, the program will be worth the effort,” said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. “A key goal of the workshops is to prevent a loaded firearm from being left unattended where a child or other unauthorized person could pick it up. That’s a tragedy waiting to happen.”
As a Level 1 Trauma Center, Prisma Health Richland Hospital’s medical professionals are trained to care for those most critically injured patients, but assistance before a patient arrives could be critical to their survival. Trauma surgeon Jeremy Reeves, MD, said, “A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes. Stop the Bleed training is vitally important so that those nearest to someone with life-threatening injuries are best positioned to provide immediate care. Our goal is to assist as many communities as possible with the training that improves a person’s chance at survival.”
“Firearm Safety and Stop the Bleed trainings go hand-in-hand. We want to prevent an injury from occurring in the first place while also educating the public about what to do if something does happen,” said Dr. Reeves.
In 2019, Prisma Health Richland Hospital Trauma Center treated 345 patients with gunshot wounds; 46 suffered fatal injuries. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System, in 2017, 19 deaths among children ages 0–14 were attributed to firearms in South Carolina.
Bill Brassard Jr., director of Project ChildSafe, added, “Project ChildSafe is an important step forward in helping ensure that all firearm owners fully understand their responsibilities concerning the safe handling and storage of firearms.”
To register, visit PalmettoHealth.org/FSWorkshop or contact Lara Peck, Injury Prevention Coordinator, 803-434-6231, Lara.Peck@PrismaHealth.org.