It’s becoming more and more common to see shooters on the range with some type of small, portable, on or off-body personal med kit. This is a good trend brought on by the advent of excellent tactical medical training knowledge transfer and training courses from companies like Lone Star Medics, Dark Angel Medical or Active Response Training.
Having a tourniquet or hemostatic agent on you or in your range bag while shooting at the range, in a class or at a competition is a good idea. Having the skills to utilize those supplies is critical in order to be prepared for when the time comes. If you haven’t received some type of medical training such as CPR, Basic First Aid, EMT or Tactical Trauma Care, go get some. It’s more likely you will need these skills sometime in your life than you will need gun-fighting skills.
In very generalized terms, for trauma care such as a penetrating trauma like a gunshot wound, stab or even a severe laceration, consider carrying:
1) A tourniquet
2) Pressure Dressing
3) Hemostatic Agent
Are there other items you could pack into a bag? Sure, however, these supplies should be readily available as part of your every day carry gear which means they need to be compact and comfortable to carry. The TacMed Tourniquet Ankle Holster is a decent, low profile tourniquet (and possibly other gear) carry option. Similar to an ankle holster for a pistol, it utilizes a stretchable cuff with a small pocket and hook and loop velcro closure to secure. While very concealable, this option requires pressure from the cuff being tightened to secure whatever items being carried. In the pic above I have a SWAT-T tourniquet and vaseline impregnated gauze patch. The 1110Gear.com Kydex tourniquet pouch with tek-lok belt attachment is another option. This pouch holds the tourniquet in a vertical position similar to a pistol magazine. Extremely secure and very well made, the only concern for me is how thick the pouch is, standing off the belt line almost 3inches at its widest point. This makes concealment of this pouch less than optimal in warmer climates/seasons where thin or light weight clothing is worn. Some additional items may include an Asherman/Hyfin Seal for penetrating trauma, nasopharyngeal airway, sterile gloves, pneumothorax decompression needle and shears but once again, training in how to use all of these items and an effective way to carry them need to be investigated thoroughly.
One area to consider packing/prepping with the trauma care gear listed above is in your vehicle. We spend a lot of time in and around our vehicles; commuting to work, running errands, taking kids to sports practice, etc. Because of this, the likelihood of getting into some type of car accident is higher than the chance of getting into a gunfight. Having gear readily available to treat traumatic injury to yourself or a passenger makes sense.
- Make sure med gear is available to all passengers, when possible, place equipment somewhere centerline of the vehicle
- A center console is less likely to be compacted/crushed during an accident. Impacted side doors can make it difficult to retrieve gear from storage areas.
- Be redundant and pick multiple locations in the vehicle to stow gear
- Have gear that can be easily carried away from the vehicle, perhaps to another vehicle or in case you have to walk
Recommended basic Med Gear for traumatic injury: