Ready to Render First-Aid

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

There’s an important part of using firearms for self-defense which a lot of people overlook, including those of us who write about it. We tend to get so focused on the techniques of using firearms and the tactics needed to survive such an encounter, that we forget to think about the aftermath. Yet that aftermath, and how we handle it, can have an awful lot to do with whether or not we go to jail, just for doing what the law says we are allowed to do.

There are actually a number of things we need to do, in the wake of a successful self-defense shooting, like calling the police. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. Rather, I want to talk about rendering first-aid to treat the wounded.

I think it’s safe to assume that you’re going to end up with someone wounded in the aftermath of any shooting situation. You, the bad guy or some innocent bystander is going to end up wounded. I seriously doubt that the bad guy will just throw down their gun after a couple of shots, saying, “That last one was just a little too close. I give up.”

With that being the case, it only makes sense to be prepared to deal with someone becoming injured by the gunfire. Let alone the fact that it might be you who needs first aid, isn’t that what a public spirited citizen should do? Shouldn’t we be ready to render aid?

This doesn’t necessarily mean carrying an IFAK (individual first-aid kit) on your person; that might be a bit difficult. But what’s wrong with having one with you, in the trunk of your car. That way, you can either run to get it or send someone to do so, while you begin to render first aid. Better yet, have a bigger first-aid kit, in case there’s more than one wounded person to deal with.

This is part of the changing police philosophy that has helped to reduce the death count from mass shootings. Police have been trained on first-aid techniques and are equipped with first-aid kits in their cruisers. The first officers to arrive at a shooting, who are not involved in dealing with the criminal, are to pick one victim and render first-aid. Then they load them in their squad car and rush them to the emergency room. This tactic has saved many lives, altering the statistics on these shootings.

If that works for the police, who have probably spent a small fortune studying the problem, then it seems like it would work for us as well. Regardless of the results of the shooting, there are likely going to be wounded people to treat. Being ready for that only makes sense.

But being ready means more than just having a first aid kit; and the kit we have must be more than the $19.95 special from the local pharmacy. We need what’s known as a trauma kit; one that’s intended for taking care of larger wounds, like gunshot wounds. As an alternative for that, we could buy an actual IFAK or just buy an Israeli bandage, which is an excellent way to administer first-aid to a gunshot wound.

More important than the kit is taken a first-aid class or one that is specifically oriented towards treating gunshot wounds. I’ve taken two of these, one from one of our local hospitals and the other through the company which provides my concealed carry legal insurance. The nice thing about that second one, is that having taken it also extends my legal insurance to cover lawsuits resulting from my treating a wounded person, whether the lawsuit is due to some error on my part or because I was unable to save the patient’s life.

Besides the good of helping save someone’s life, which is enough of a reason to be prepared in this way, there’s also the impression it might make on any investigating officer. If they see you treating a wounded person when they arrive, it presents a much better image than seeing you standing over a dead body with a gun in your hand.

It’s really just another part of being ready for anything, something we all should do. In that, it fits right in with keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Dr. Rich

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