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Safety First: DSP employees train for emergencies
firearm training 2
Liberty County Fire Services Chief Brian Darby helps lead a safety training at Dorchester Shooting Preserve in Midway last week. - photo by By Patty Leon

Hoping they will never need to use it, but getting the training just in case, employees at the Dorchester Shooting Preserve in Midway were trained on response times and first aid techniques Friday, Oct. 4.

Mark Rich, Midway Police Officer and owner of Liberty Firearm Training, Carla Ashdown and Alex Mason, with Liberty EMS, Liberty County Fire Services Chief Brian Darby and Al Groover with Air-Evac went over the process and procedures in the event that an accidental shooting should occur during a hunting outing.

DSP General Manager, Dave Massey said they’ve been blessed so far with no accidents but emphasized his team meets every morning for a brief safety review, prior to a hunting outing, and are constantly training for the, “what if?”

Mason and Ashdown explained how they currently have one 24- and one 16-hour ambulance available at the nearby Liberty Regional Medical Center, Midway clinic at Tradeport East. They said that as of July 1, they also have two part-time firefighters stationed at the former East End Fire Department building. 

Mason said it was important for the employees to be detailed when they place the 9-1-1 call. He noted that it was extremely important to let the 9-1-1 dispatcher know whether the injury was accidental or intentional.

He said that if the dispatcher assumes the injury was intentional it could delay their ability of giving care. He said law enforcement officers would be dispatched first and the priority would be to ensure the scene was safe to enter. 

Mason said that all the Liberty EMS ambulances are staffed with Advance Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) trained personnel.

“They can do pretty much everything an emergency room doctor can do but in a much smaller space,” he said.

Groover and Ashdown spoke about the coordination between Liberty EMS and the Air-Evac helicopter. Ashdown said that the helicopters are not automatically launched until EMS crews request their assistance. She said the variables of whether they call for the helicopter or transport by ambulance comes down to where the patient is located and how quick they can be triaged, retrieved and transported.

Ashdown said there are times, especially on the east end of the county, where an ambulance crew could transport a patient to Savannah quicker than bringing in a helicopter. She added that is especially true if their first helicopter unit is already out on a call.

“Our first response helicopter comes out of Jesup,” Ashdown said. “If they are out on a call the next might come from Vidalia or Statesboro.”

The group discussed and reviewed how they would coordinate their efforts to ensure the EMS personnel knows where to go.

“Your first call is 9-1-1,” Massey said. “Your second call is to me, Chuck (Gaskin) or Bubba (Parker). That is the reason we have those safety meetings. That way we know exactly what field you are in and we know where to meet with first responders and make sure we can guide them to where you are.”

Being that one of the more typical accidents that could happen at a hunting preserve is a gunshot injury, Mason explained the importance of saving live over limb by using a tourniquet.

Darby explained how his department has used 16 tourniquets during emergency response calls to date.

“And in all 16 cases lives were saved, no limbs were lost and all the doctors have told us that the person would have bled out and died without it.”

The group was waiting for an Air-Evac helicopter that was going to fly in and show what they do during their response. However, the helicopter got called out on an actual rescue and were to fly the patient to Jacksonville.

The group then gathered inside the DSP conference room where they were all trained by Darby on: Stop the Bleed. 

The program is a state-wide approved initiative supported by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and teaches the correct methods of controlling blood flow and the application of a tourniquet.

The group watched, learned and applied the basic techniques to stop a bleeding victim and the proper use of a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT).

Darby said he was going to make sure the DSP was equipped with the Stop the Bleed kits.

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