Save a Life Day allowed children of all ages to participate in activities along with first-aid and safety programs. (Photos by Shamariah Vanderhorst/Carolina News and Reporter)

Cayce’s first Save a Life Day on Saturday was a family-friendly event aimed at sharing the city’s emergency resources and life-saving first aid techniques.

“You just never know when you’ll have to use (CPR) or need it to help save a life,” said Cayce resident Bridgitt Simmons. “Just learn it because it will help the next person.”

The sponsor, the Cayce Fire Department, and other agencies taught CPR to community members, who gathered for food, games and an Easter egg hunt.

The Granby Gardens Park event was made possible by the South Carolina Opioid Recovery Fund, created by the state to mitigate the opioid epidemic.

The goal was to raise awareness for sensitive subjects, such as substance abuse, that might require life-saving measures, according to Lindsay McDade, the department’s community risk reduction manager.

“The biggest thing that keeps people from seeking help is stigma,” McDade said. “And this is just a way to kind of reduce that and have that resource there.”

Hailey Kanipe, a prevention specialist with the Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, came with her colleagues to offer free samples and to demonstrate how to administer naloxone. Naloxone, known commercially as NARCAN, is a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose.

“This is just so important because people don’t realize the impact of opioid overdose in the community until you’ve experienced it or known someone (who has),” Kanipe said.

Kanipe said it’s crucial to stay informed and reduce the stigma against substance abuse to save lives.

Raymond Muilenburg, a firefighter and EMT, said he thinks it’s important to prepare children of all ages for emergencies.

“It’s good to teach them because you never know (when) they might be the only person around,” Muilenburg said.

Katie Flannery, an education services coordinator for the State Fire South Carolina agency, explained to children how smoke detectors work.

Flannery said children often don’t know where to go – or what to do – in the event of a fire. She planned emergency escape routes with the attendees.

Hazel Dukes brought her grandchildren to support their church, Calvary Holiness Church of God, and its work at the event.

“What I hope (children) get out of it is that they know they’re special and that they got family within the community,” Dukes said.

The Cayce Fire Department and other organizations taught life-saving CPR to attendees.

“This event is special to advocate … for people who suffer with substance abuse disorder,” Melissa Higgins, a peer support specialist with Lutheran Services Carolinas, said of her group’s focus.

The Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (LRADAC) attended to teach the community about NARCAN.

“Sometimes, just by knowing that these types of things are here, gives them the hope,” Regina Davis, a peer support manager with Lutheran Services Carolinas, said of substance abusers.