Two Ex­perts Give Us Their In­put on Best Prac­tices for Con­cealed Carry Medicine

When brows­ing “EDC” or “pocket dump” on our fa­vorite fo­rum or so­cial me­dia chan­nel of choice, we see a lot of cool gear. Pis­tols, hol­sters, knives, watches, chal­lenge coins, flash­lights, and sun­glasses all run aplenty on these look-at-me photo threads. Even combs, travel ra­zors, beard oil, and “tac­ti­cal wal­lets” all wind up get­ting metic­u­lously laid out among the sup­posed daily carry of in­ter­net en­thu­si­asts ev­ery­where.

But one item that con­tin­ues to make fewer ap­pear­ances than it should is a well-thought-out carry med kit. They’re typ­i­cally not flashy, ex­pen­sive, or an in­her­ent source of brag­ging rights. Med­i­cal gear is, in our opin­ion, one of the things that sep­a­rates those who are car­ry­ing to be pre­pared and those who are car­ry­ing to start con­ver­sa­tion. But the par­tic­u­lar sun­dries re­quired to tend the wounded — and the knowl­edge re­quired to use them prop­erly — are an oft-mis­un­der­stood sub­cul­ture even among armed pro­fes­sion­als.

On the bat­tle­field, the days of tak­ing a knee and yelling “medic!” are well past. Like­wise for law en­force­ment, string­ing up yel­low tape while wait­ing for an am­bu­lance is the pro­ce­dure of a bygone era. The ad­vent of do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism and the in­tense me­dia pub­lic­ity show­ered upon ac­tive shoot­ers has, for bet­ter or worse, made ca­su­alty re­sponse a job that can now fall upon any­body re­gard­less of what uni­form they wear — if any.

In or­der to bet­ter wrap our heads around the prob­lem, we spoke to two in­struc­tors who have made great ef­forts to spread their wealth of knowl­edge about trauma medicine to uni­formed per­son­nel and ci­ti­zens alike. Kerry Davis of Dark An­gel Med­i­cal spent 16 years in the Air Force, in­clud­ing ser­vice as both an ER medic and flight medic. Ad­di­tion­ally, he has 10-plus years in civil­ian emer­gency rooms, work­ing as a para­medic while com­plet­ing his stud­ies to be­come an RN. Glen Stil­son works for In­de­pen­dence Train­ing, which of­fers both firearms and emer­gency med­i­cal train­ing to the com­mu­ni­ties around Phoenix, Ari­zona. He be­gan seek­ing fur­ther devel­op­ment of his own med­i­cal skills in 2006 af­ter be­com­ing a fa­ther. He has been teach­ing “Dirt Medicine” and TCCCstyle classes since 2009. The staff at In­de­pen­dence Train­ing in­cludes both cur­rent and for­mer paramedics and flight medics, as well as sev­eral for­mer mem­bers of Army Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions units.

RE­COIL: Why should peo­ple who choose to carry con­cealed con­sider med­i­cal pre­pared­ness (train­ing and gear) an im­por­tant part of ex­er­cis­ing their right to carry? What about peo­ple who don’t carry a weapon? Should they con­sider med­i­cal train­ing and gear as well?

Kerry Davis: Med­i­cal pre­pared­ness (train­ing and gear) is ab­so­lutely an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of “EDC.” If you are ex­er­cis­ing your right to carry a firearm for self-de­fense, then you should also be trained in, and car­ry­ing, med­i­cal gear for the same rea­son. Car­ry­ing a firearm with­out car­ry­ing med­i­cal gear should not even be an op­tion, be­cause the chances of us­ing your med­i­cal gear far out­weigh the chances of us­ing your firearm.

With hem­or­rhage be­ing one of the lead­ing causes of death in the U.S., be­ing able to stop the bleed is one of the most im­por­tant things we can learn. We al­ways tell peo­ple in our classes that even if you don’t carry a weapon, you can carry a med­i­cal kit and still be a “force mul­ti­plier.” Also, you can’t carry a weapon ev­ery­where, but I’ve yet to be any­where I can’t carry a med­i­cal kit. And, sta­tis­ti­cally speak­ing, those places where I can’t carry a weapon are prob­a­bly the places where I would need the med­i­cal kit should, God for­bid, some­thing tragic un­folds. There should al­ways be room in your EDC for med­i­cal gear, even if it is some­thing as small as a tourni­quet and a pair of gloves. Ob­tain­ing solid med­i­cal train­ing doesn’t take a lot of time and can make the difference, lit­er­ally, be­tween life and death.

Glen Stil­son: Ev­ery­one should be car­ry­ing med­i­cal equip­ment and have the skills nec­es­sary to use those tools. You are much more likely to need to help your­self or some­one else in a med­i­cal emer­gency than you are to shoot a bad guy in the face, and if the av­er­age firearm owner spent as much time, money, and ef­fort on their med­i­cal skills and tools as they do on their guns and shoot­ing, we would be an amaz­ingly pre­pared com­mu­nity! The best part of car­ry­ing med­i­cal gear every­day is that you can take it any­where with you — into “gun free zones,” onto air­planes, into gov­ern­ment build­ings, etc. Plus, there are some every­day use­ful items in a good med kit, such as tape, light, and shears.

With a wide va­ri­ety of med­i­cal kits and com­po­nents avail­able, make sure to have qual­ity kit and the skill to use it.

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