Today I want to cover a topic that I don’t feel many people discuss when it comes to firearms training and that is your First Aid Kit/Trauma Kit.
We all train with our firearms to be proficient, so that we can avoid accidents and we do so by exercising the basic fundamentals of safe firearms handling.
But in reality there is no amount of training that will completely eliminate accidents from the training equation, so all we can do is be prepared.
I follow a simple basic rule of thumb when it comes to my First Aid kit and the kits I encourage my students to purchase and have for themselves when they are at the range and training, and that rule of thumb is this…..
HAVE A KIT READY THAT CAN CONTROL BLEEDING FOR 3-5 MINUTES MINIMUM OR MORE IF POSSIBLE.
From the moment an accident happens up until the first responders arrive on scene it can be 3-5 minutes or more depending on your ranges location and the response time of EMS.
We need to be realistic, maybe 1 in 10 people at a range at any given time have ever received basic first aid training or even carry a kit with them as part of their range bag on a routine basis.
So being prepared could mean potential life or death for an individual.
And for those who are prepared, when was the last time you checked your First Aid kit? It’s so easy to see it there or have one, but are the contents still fresh, or have they expired because they were purchased 10 years ago and you haven’t touched them since?
These are very valid points and concerns people often fail to consider that we need to constantly be on top of in case of en emergency.
Ask yourself these simple questions…..
Do you know what’s in your kit? The market is saturated with pre-packed First Aid kits. Knowing whats in there is half the battle, just buying one off the internet and tossing it in a range bag is as good as nothing at all.
Do you know how you use everything in there? And more importantly have you been trained properly to use it! Having a kit that contains an airway is awesome when you know how to use it…but what good is it if you don’t know how to insert it the right way and do you really need an airway to begin with or is it taking up space from something you really do need?
Keep in mind the following…
First Aid kits are not a one size fits all purchase….People often just click and buy and that just doesn’t always mean you're buying the items you need to save a life.
As I said earlier many items have expiration dates and items expire, you should know when and replace them before they do….
Im sure most of you are saying it’s a way to keep the sales coming. You want your life to count on some guys rolling of the dice thats what an expiration dates only purpose is??? Don’t Be Cheap!!!
These questions are as important if not even more so as to what is the condition of your firearm?
And if you’re not trained…seek training….you should be training for all the medical items you intend to carry so that you get 100% of the medical benefits out of them when the time comes.
Same goes for tourniquets….It seem like every other year someone changes the procedure for applying and using a tourniquet. Be up to date on these changes!
And don’t be that guy who buys the best then doesn’t even know how to unwrap it when the SHTF…..
Medical situations are not always going to be limited to GSW (Gun Shot Wounds) it’s very possible to encounter any one of a number of medical conditions such as heart attack or diabetic emergency or maybe even a seizure, are you prepared for them as well?
As my firearms training schedule starts to come together I will be adding in Basic First Aid, CPR, AED and BLS classes to the calendar….
Seek out the classes folks….The cost of a class is nothing compared to the cost of a life that can be saved….
And finally ask yourself this simple question….
Do you want to watch a person die in front of you helpless, or do you want to be prepared to take action to save that persons life?
If your doing firearms training I will bet its to protect lives….A properly equipped First Aid bag is as valuable a tool as your firearm!
And like a firearm if you don’t train with your tools they won’t protect you when you need them.
So what do my kits contain?
1 Latex Gloves 1 CPR Face Mask 1 EMT Shears 1 Tourniquet 1 QuikClot Bleeding Control Dressing 1 Emergency Trauma Dressing (4") 1 Trauma Pad (5" x 9") 1 NAR Hyfin Chest Seal 1 Combat Medic Reinforcement Tape 1 Compressed Gauze
What your kit will contain will depend on your specific training and your specific needs….
And keep in mind these are the bare minimums to CONTROL bleeding while you wait for EMS to arrive and thats all. Be sure you activate EMS response as quickly as possible to get them responding and remain calm.
Stay tuned for more in depth discussions on Basic Range First Aid in the future….
BE PREPARED….LIVE SAFE….