Do you know what this is?
|Okay, it's round, black and you throw these away all the time.|
It’s probably not what you’re thinking.
It’s part of a pre-staged improvised tourniquet that Shaun Baskerville developed. More on that later.
I’m sure it’s just coincidental that many police/military/tactical blogs are/have been talking about emergency first aid. But following the Boston Marathon and the TSA agents shooting and any of the horrible school shootings, doesn’t it make sense to be prepared?
If you’re prepared to defend yourself you must realize that the potential for injury and loss of life exists to you and other innocent bystanders. It only seems balanced that you should also be prepared to preserve and save life when possible. It’s is the Ying-Yang of life. I wouldn’t go so far as to say what you launch into the Universe will return to you, but I firmly believe each person owes society a karmic debt.
On a more personal level, when I’m standing in front of the Pearly Gates and St. Peter is frowning at me, I want to be able to say “Pete, I was trained, prepared and willing to pitch in following a disaster. How about cutting me a little slack?” I think he will.
After taking the 4-hour Essential Medical Care Course from Weyer Tactical, I’m going to up my game. To say I’m impressed with the content, ability and manner of the instructors would be an understatement.
This is the second course I’ve taken at Weyer Tactical and so far none of them involved shooting. The course was taught by Shaun Baskerville, assisted by Joe Weyer and several other people.
I could tell you the facilities are nice, clean and well taken care of. They are.
I could tell you the instruction was top notch. It was.
But what you need to know is I learned what nobody else wanted to teach me.
I’m not a tyro with regard to first aid courses. I started in the Cub Scouts. The Boy Scouts added a little more, but the available level of information available to the public in the mid 60s was lean. The late 70s saw me as a CPR instructor and the 80s saw me in a 40-hour First Aid course so I could volunteer at first aid stations. A year ago American Heart updated me on the use of a tourniquet and compression only CPR.
But nobody wanted to show me how to pack a wound or seal a sucking chest wound. Those were outside the purview of First Aid.
|It doesn't take much to practice packing.|
So, I was always told. Besides, these drones always said medical aid is 3 minutes away in my area. I'll tell you what I told a drone: "Let's open your vein for 2 minutes and see how you like it." I thought I was going to be punched in the nose.
So why am I hot to trot about these two? Because they are my nightmare scenarios. I know pressure bandaging and pressure points. I know how to splint and reduce a broken femur. I dig epi-pens and I’m not a total sphincter around back boards, but pack a wound, seal a sucking chest wound and all those years of no-no-no tourniquet, I was worried I was out of my depth.
Weyer Tactical took care of that.
Shaun showed us how to use a CAT tourniquet and a pressure bandage on ourselves as well as another. Everyone had a chance to practice.
|Tighten until the bleeding stops!|
At the end of the class, Weyer Tactical sets up three scenarios with horrible wounds and nightmare back stories. Even knowing it’s fake blood and the victims are going to peel the wounds off, wash the blood away and have a beer later, your heart skips a beat and your palms get sweaty.
|No, I'm not going show you the scenarios. This is adult education. Take the course and find out for yourself.|
I did alright with the practical. I’m better at doing than waiting.
Those images from the Boston bombing will haunt me. I can’t imagine my karmic debt if I stood there and wasn’t able to help. So many people were saved because the people on site had a CAT tourniquet and knew what to do. Why can’t the CCW community be prepared just as police and military?
So what do you need? After this course I would say you need a tourniquet on you, in your purse or shoulder bag or briefcase, but on you.
|It's been said "all you need is love." Make that "all you need is love and a tourniquet!"|
QuikClot combat gauze, a basic pressure bandage and couple yards of tape will do.
|4 yards of Quik-clot, vacuum packed|
|My practice pressure bandage|
Don’t forget eye protection in the form of prescription glass or stylish wrap around shades and gloves.
Surprisingly the go kit can be rather small. Joe had several he assembled and vacuumed-sealed available at cost. Small compact and ready-to-go with you is the key. Don’t buy a pre-made kit, build your own. Remember, cleanliness is required, but sterility isn’t. The MDs can pump you full of antibiotics later, you just need to be alive when you arrive in emergency.
Oh! The tourniquet.
The black ring is part of the twist off cap from beverages.
Well, you need a triangular bandage.
|Just a triangle of cloth. The long dimension is about 50 inches.|
Fold it like you should have learned in the Scouts.
|I folded it, but you could roll it.|
|All the way|
Slip the ring over the folded fabric.
Fold and store until needed
|See the black ring out side of the knot on the right. What's it for?|
Tie a triple over hand knot with enough slack to slip a stick between the first knot and second and wind it until the bleeding stops.
|I'm using my de-jammer to wind the tourniquet tight but you could use a pocket knife, stick, or pen.|
It’s the basic tourniquet I learned in Scouts. But now it’s the go-to for arterial bleeding!
|That's what the ring is for - to keep the tourniquet from unraveling. I could use extra material from the knot for that purpose too!|
Shaun had a lot of other ideas for us on improvised first aid supplies. You don’t need MasterCard. Being prepared doesn’t need to cost a fortune. But telling St. Peter you saved a life, that could be priceless!