The community of NRS supporters and followers consistently contacts me to share outdoors safety, survival, and other pertinent stories from the news and situations in their everyday lives. It is always pleasing to hear how training they have had helped them in various situations. Sometimes I get emails, or calls, about situations in which they would like to have been more prepared. More often than not the situation is one in which they wished they had more or better trauma care. While we have a wonderful Wilderness and Remote First Aid class, many people do not attend it simply because they think they have it covered by taking a First Aid class at work, church, or other group setting. While we are big supporters and highly recommend you get basic first aid training, the truth is, it simply is not enough. You need to get more dedicated training. Here are some situations where more dedicated training is needed:
- You are the first to come upon a vehicle wreck.
- On a hunting trip you fall on a one of your broadheads and cut yourself severely.
- On a paddling trip you break a leg in some rapids.
- Active shooter/aggressor situations.
- You cut yourself with a chainsaw on the back of the farm while trimming off a fence line.
- There is a negligent discharge into a shooter at a local gun range.
There are many more, but you get the idea. Good, sound, trauma care training and proper supplies are a must (NO, tampons and maxipads do not count as good sound medical supplies).
The following is one of those stories that I mentioned earlier. A gentleman that has attended a number of classes near Memphis, TN shared this with me and encouraged me to share it. He learned some valuable lessons about his go-bag and I think you will too after reading his reading his words:
“Last month I witnessed in my rear view mirror the most violent by far, accident I have ever seen. I pulled over , called 911 and on getting out of my truck thinking my go bag was in disarray and no one could have survived that violence. I went to see what I could do without my kit. The driver was alive! A car with 2 emts and a nurse stopped without any gloves ,1st aid equipment, etc and went to work caring for him. (I had gloves in my tool box not my go bag) Then someone said there is a death. Lieing by the centerline of the road was the passenger. This was my first time to see the aftermath of a violent death. I could not leave him exposed. This lead to the first of several runs back to the truck, this time for my tarp to cover the fatality. Other runs were made for bottled water and my first aid kit that had nothing to help at that point. Emergency personal finally arrived. I don’t know if the driver survived. We used some of the water to rinse the emt, nurses hands- I had hand sanitizer in the truck but not out!
My lessons learned so far.
- I need to have my kit READY alwayse. Use it but top it off when I get home.
- I probably want/need a more substantial first aid bag, ready and in my truck. I had hand sanitizer, israili bandages (not needed but I do not know how to use them eather) a box of gloves, water in my truck but not assimbled into a unit. If you gave me 15 minutes I could have assembled what I had and needed but…
- I need to train to take my kit with me when I use it. Don’t just ramble thru it in the back of my truck, to get a bandage tarp, etc but take the WHOLE KIT.
Craig, I thought I would share my lessons and I want to thank you for the education I have received from you and Nature Reliance School. Preparedness is not the same as just having assembled ‘gear’, it is having it assembled, knowing how to use it ,and trained to deploy the equipment and yourself quickly when the situation merits. STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS!
I hope all is well with your family and hope to see you in class soon.
I am glad he was able to help, and am even more pleased that he shared his experience so we can all learn from it.
Here is another example of putting this into practice.
Yesterday I went out to do some chainsaw work on a nearby piece of property. I was alone and far from others. I took the following precautions before beginning to work.
- I told my wife where I was going and when she could expect to hear from me after the work was complete.
- I wore protective safety equipment which was chaps, ear pro, eye pro, and steel-toed boots.
- I carried in my cargo pocket an IFAK which included a tourniquet and Israeli bandage. (For a detailed list of trauma kit items beyond these basics, check out this blog piece and video I wrote for Omega Gear.
It really is that simple. These are supplies that we need to carry with us everyday. Many of my friends are those who carry concealed for possible situation that they will use their weapon to save themselves or others. Statistics prove you (and they) are much more likely to “save” someone with a good medical training than you are with a weapon. So please everyone reading these words. Find some training near you. Get some supplies that you take with you every day. It might mean the difference between life and death for someone you love.