It’s impossible to be prepared at all times. We’re likely to be caught off guard and without important gear when an emergency happens. This is why training skills is so important.
Skills are weightless and with us all the time if an edge is honed every now and then. Skills sharpen or dull depending on how often they are used. Gear is great, but you also need to know what to do if you don’t have any, or, you use up everything you have.
This will be a multiple article discussion about what to do in the event you don’t have any gear with you. All you have is your mind, a bad situation, and an injured person in danger.
This is first because blood loss is the injury that will kill your casualty the quickest, but the simplest to prevent. If you’ve been following the Mountain Man Medical YouTube channel or reading any of the articles on this web site, then you already know a tourniquet (TQ) is the first choice for treating life-threatening wounds to arms and legs.
TQs are easy to use and fast to apply with very little training, and are clearly the optimal choice. But what if you don’t have one… or there are more casualties and/or wounds then you have tourniquets for?
In Part 1 of Handling Emergencies Like a Pro, we talked about how to make a quick plan on the way to the casualty. Professionals do this all the time and it’s a great way to get past a lot of the indecision. But, to come up with a workable plan, you need to be trained.
Any high-level professional will tell you they are constantly training. Developing and maintaining skills takes a big stress load off your shoulders by allowing you to focus on the bigger, more dynamic picture. Since you have applied a Tourniquet (TQ)so many times in training, you aren’t thinking about each and every step when you do. Instead you’re thinking ahead about the next problem.
If you've ready any of the articles in this blog, you may have heard me harping on the fact that, in an emergency, the first step should be to call 911. Emergencies are concerning because of the lack of available resources needed to keep a casualty alive.
Emergencies don’t generally occur in a hospital fully staffed with experienced doctors and nurses with complex medical equipment and access to a broad range of pharmaceuticals.
So, we need to get the casualty to those resources as quickly and as safely possible by getting EMT’s on scene with an ambulance.
Since this may be the most important thing you do to save the life of the casualty, we need to discuss how to speak with a 911 operator in an emergency when you are likely to be a little shook up.
It’s easy to get things mixed up, rush your words, and speak incoherently when adrenaline is running full tilt.
To help your memory, here are the 3 main points of why it’s a good idea to leave a rescue to the professionals:
You aren’t trained
You don't have a team helping you
You might do more harm than good
Emergencies are dangerous situations. Not only for the victim, but also for the rescuers. This is why we have rescue experts like firefighters, police officers, and search and rescue teams who train often on how to be successful.
But, if you don’t have a choice and need to attempt a rescue before help arrives, here are some things to consider so you increase your chances for success.
Not everyone has a background in medicine and may not fully understand the wide variety of gear that’s available on the market. Those people tend to take me at my word that the items in the Mountain Man Medical kits are the best options for the widest number of situations.
Others have asked why I chose one product over another and their questions are completely justified. The market for medical gear is huge and getting bigger every day as new companies look for better methods and innovations for keeping people alive.
It confuses me that medical kits are often neglected. I’ve
been in the medical world for a few years now and I’ve never had a hard time
convincing someone that medical equipment is a good idea to have nearby.
But I still seldom encounter someone who keeps one nearby, even
if they’re never more than an arm’s length away from a weapon. A large number
of the people in my life don’t think twice about strapping up just to take out
the garbage, but haven’t thought twice about having a quality medical kit in
I get it. Tourniquets just aren’t as sexy as the latest Glock
you’ve had your eye on, or that new combat folder you’ll probably only use to
open Amazon boxes. Trust me, I get it because I’m the same way.