There is not doubt of an uptick in both terrorist attacks and active shooter events worldwide. Those of us in law enforcement and the military are at a higher risk of being targeted. In 2015, there were at least 13 Islamic terrorist attacks either plotted or carried out in the United States according to Heritage foundation (more than the past three years combined). (Dinan, 2016) With the most recent deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernadino, it is only natural to reflect on your own preparedness in the event you find yourself in a similar situation. The bottom-line is that you are only as prepared in those critical moments with the tools and skills that you have brought with you on your person. Choose wisely.

Consider the things that you might need to preserve your life and survive the fight. If you have a concealed handgun license but never carry on your person, what good is it? If you do carry but don’t routinely go to the range will you even be effective? Will you even see the threat in a low light environment? One area so often overlooked is medical preparedness. You may spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on gun gear and attending all the sexy shooting courses but neglect the other end of that potential situation. You may have defeated the immediate threat but when you or your family is left with life threatening injuries how will you respond?

Many of us have attended either a combat lifesaver course or Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Carrying an IFAK (individual first-aid kit) overseas was routine, but that idea seems almost foreign here at home. During the active shooter event in Aurora, Colorado police transported almost half of the injured from the scene because EMS had not been cleared to enter. EMS did not reach the injured until at least 28 minutes had passed. (Christopher N. Osher, 2014) Will you or your loved ones have that long?

This is what I carry everyday. Here are the contents of my IFAK:
1- North American Rescue Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) $29.99 in an Eleven 10 Gear CAT Holster
2- Maxpedition Mini Pocket Organizer
3- Rusch Nasal Pharyngeal Airway with Lubricant
4- North American Rescue 14ga. X 3.25” Needle Decompression Kit
5- North American Rescue Hyfin Vent Compact Occlusive Vented Chest Seal
6- Z-Medica Corporation Combat Gauze Z-Fold Hemostatic Gauze
7- Phokus Research Group Frog Gauze Z-Fold Non-Hemostatic Gauze
8- H & H Medical Corporation Mini Compression Bandage
9- Nitrile Gloves

Increased low visibility operations worldwide have demanded more low profile medical products. The bulky IFAK is a thing of the past. Today you can find products capable of addressing the immediate life threats from violent encounters that can be carried in a small pouch easily slipped into a back pocket, purse, or the visor of a car. Create and commit to carry a low profile IFAK capable of addressing the leading causes of preventable immediate life threats from bleeding, tension pneumothorax, or airway compromise. Be truly prepared to not only defend but also save your life and the ones you love in the aftermath. Live the motto: “No one is coming. It is up to us!”

Works Cited

Christopher N. Osher, C. I. (2014, October 8). Breakdown between police and fire caused chaos. Retrieved January 10, 2016, from The Denver Post:

Dinan, A. N. (2016, January 8). 2015 set new record for terror plots in U.S. Retrieved January 10, 2016, from The Washington Post: