The Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) and Prisma Health have partnered with PROJECT CHILDSAFE, a national firearms-safety education program, to offer firearms safety and ‘Stop the Bleed’ workshops this month.

Project Childsafe is offering free instruction and free safety kits – including safety information and a cable-style gunlock – during two 1.5-hour workshops. Through the ChildSafe initiative, RCSD and Prisma Health are advancing firearms-safety through gun-owner education.

The first workshop was held Mar. 3 at Prisma Health Richland Hospital. The second workshop is slated for Thurs., March 19, at Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge Hospital, Aspen Conference Room, 300 Palmetto Health Parkway, beginning promptly at 6:00 p.m.

“If we can prevent one accident or death by offering these firearm safety workshops, the program will be worth the effort,” says 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.”

In 2019, the Prisma Health Richland Hospital Trauma Center treated 345 patients with gunshot wounds; 46 of whom suffered fatal wounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death Reporting System, in 2017, nineteen deaths among children ages 0–14 were attributed to firearms in South Carolina.

“A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes,” says Prisma Health Trauma surgeon Dr. Jeremy Reeves. “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.”

Dr. Reeves adds, “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.”

For more information about Project Childsafe or to register for the Mar. 19 workshop, visit PalmettoHealth.org/FSWorkshop or contact Lara Peck, Injury Prevention Coordinator, 803-434-6231, [email protected].