TWO EXPERTS GIVE US THEIR INPUT ON BEST PRACTICES FOR CONCEALED CARRY MEDICINE
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.