Over the past two days we’ve seen several photos of the Las Vegas shooting where several concert goers were assisting the wounded despite bullets flying. We’ve witnessed several accounts of civilians and off duty law enforcement running into the hail of bullets to pull people to safety and provide medical attention until first responders could take over. These people along with many more are the unsung hero’s of this tragedy.

Many of them literally sacrificed the clothing off their backs to use as bandages and coverings, while others improvised litters with the traffic barriers and metal fencing to get injured to ambulances for transport to local hospitals. Being able to think like that under extreme stress is what saved many.

If you want to know how to be more effective and prepared for an event like this, look to your medical skills and capabilities. You don’t necessarily need to carry a full trauma kit with you everywhere you go, but know basic first aid and CPR and how to improvise when you don’t have a dedicated medical kit with you. At a minimum get training on proper use and application of a tourniquet and carry one with you everywhere you go.

Medical skills are a valuable skill to learn. I highly recommend that if you carry medical supplies, or more importantly carry a gun, get some quality medical training. Chances are you’re going to put those medical skills to use more than your shooting skills. In a shooting class I took a few months back, the instructor gave a 2 hour block of medical training (specific to gunshot wounds and trauma). Up to that point I have only had the Red Cross training. Because of that block of medical training I now feel more confident in dealing with gunshot wounds or other traumatic injuries.

Part of the block of instruction included covering the contents of a medical kit, specifically the 4 most important items to have in the kit. Our instructor recommended Dark Angel Medical for quality kits as well as training. Me personally, I have my medical kit in my everyday bag I take to work. On my person I carry a SWAT-T Tourniquet in my back pocket. With that said what If I’m not at work with my bag close by that contains the medical kit and something happens? What if I’m out shopping with the family and something happens? This is where training comes in and the ability to know how those items in your kit actually work. By knowing that you can use common items around you to improvise pressure dressings, tourniquets, chest seals, and splints.

Take a look at the following video as Kerry Davis from Dark Angel Medical explains this concept and gives some practical examples of field expedient medical items.


Featured image courtesy of AP