While browsing through Facebook, I often see posts from shooters practicing at a range, competing in a match or just plinking in their own backyard. Not too often, but every once in a while, there is a post about a mishap. Sometimes it’s a wound from a ricochet while shooting steel, or a slice in the web of someone’s strong hand from a “too high” thumbs-forward grip.
These minor issues can be handled easily with some medical tape or a Band-Aid. But, what happens when there is a major accident? When you are at your favorite range, do you know where the trauma kit is located? Is there even one readily available? What about when you are competing in a 3-Gun match, with stages spread out more than a mile apart? Where are the trauma kits there? Better yet, would you be able to find what you need in the kit, and do you have the training to use the tools inside?
When traveling with my husband, as Chris Cerino Training Group, we always bring our North American Rescue Range Trauma Kit ($368.99) with us. Even if the hosting range has its own kit, we show the class attendees ours, and let them know where it will be kept. We try to keep it in a highly-visible area, safely out of the elements.
It is extremely important to know what first aid items are available inside the kit, and to be able to find what is needed quickly. If your kit doesn’t have a contents label that is easily seen, I strongly suggest you make one. That way, when there is an emergency, an item that is needed can be found quickly.
First aid during a competition
What do you do when you arrive at a range, or a stage of a competition? You should look to see if a trauma kit is visible, or better yet, ask the Range Officer to point it out for you. The more competitors that know where the kit is — the better. If there is not one accessible, you have 2 options: bring everything to a halt and demand that a kit be made available, or carry your own.
To keep the peace and peace of mind, I choose the second option. Since there is more than enough room in my VERTX A-Range Bag ($219.95) I keep an Individual Patrol Officers Kit (IPOK) with Combat Gauze ($102.99) in the side pocket. In an easy to open, vacuum-sealed package, it’s only 4 inches x 6.5 inches x 2.75 inches, and weighs in at just 7.4 ounces. Inside is 1 pair of Black Talon nitrile trauma gloves, a Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T,) 1 Combat Gauze LE hemostatic bandage and 1 Flat 4 inch Emergency Trauma Dressing. There is no excuse not to carry an IPOK in your personal range bag. The amount of money you invest is minor when it could mean saving someone’s life.
Tactical Combat Casualty Care
So, you purchase an IPOK to carry in your range bag, but do you know how to use the contents? With a little online research and practice you can learn to be comfortable using your C-A-T. Tactical Combat Casualty Care or TCCC (read as T triple C,) are guidelines used by combat medical personnel in the U.S. military. The website contains many PowerPoint files and training videos for the TCCC curriculum.
For more information on various products contained in the North American Rescue Trauma Kit and how to use them, downloadable videos are available.
There are many safety precautions, some mandatory, you can take when you are on the range. Eye protection, billed hats, long pants and long sleeves help to cover parts of your body from shrapnel and hot brass. However, even with being aware of your surroundings and following the 4 firearms safety rules, sometimes there are accidents. You need to be prepared mentally and physically for such an incident. An important part of having a trauma kit is not only what supplies it contains, but also having the knowledge and training to use them. Take matters into your own hands, so you don’t have to depend on some else for your safety. Be prepared!
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