Columbia, SC – At the scheduled protest/presser we reported on earlier this weekend READ ARTICLE HERE Richland County Assistant Administrator Kevin Bronson has announced that he will resign his position immediately. Per sources on the scene, Bronson walked out, unannounced to the group, announced his resignation, and presented the crowd with a written statement before walking back into the administration building. This comes after nationwide outrage over the comments he made before a group of County EMS workers at an in service training stating “If you don’t like this job you can leave or kill yourselves.” A statement that came only weeks after a Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy committed suicide in his patrol car outside the department’s headquarters. In the backlash that followed many members of the First Responder Community were calling for Bronson to resign, or be fired.
This story was even picked up by Blue Lives Matter as it was unfolding. READ STORY HERE
From our original story:
Richland County, SC – A Presser/Protest has been scheduled for 10:00am Monday, August 14 at the Richland County Administrative Building following the statement made by Richland County Assistant Administrator.
On August 10, Kevin Bronson, the Richland County Assistant County Administrator made a comment in a room full of county EMS employees at a monthly inservice training stating “if it’s really that bad you can just kill yourself or leave.” So far one Council Member has publicly requested Bronson’s dismissal as reported by ABC Columbia.
This incident has First Responders across the country upset, and with good reason. Suicide is a real problem facing the First Responder community, in fact, one recent study suggested 6.6% of EMS workers had attempted suicide, which is a staggering number compared with the Center for Disease Control’s reported .5% average in America.
This subject is still an open wound for the First Responder community in Richland County, where on the 28th of July, 28 year old Deputy Derek Fish finished his patrol, parked his cruiser in the back of his department’s regional headquarters, and used his service gun to end his own life in the cruiser. Now only weeks later these comments from the county administration are not sitting well with many.
Bronson did respond with a written apology in the form of an email.