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You Be The Judge

Posted by Kerry on Jun 6th 2018

You Be The Judge

“….but, medical training isn’t cool…” This is something we’ve heard many times. However, recent events have shown us the importance of being proactive rather than being reactive. They’ve also shown us the extreme dangers which complacency and lack of situational awareness can place us in. Whether it be a natural disaster, a motor vehicle accident or a terrorist event, we can try to mitigate those risks as much as possible, but, unfortunately, things happen sometimes that are far beyond our control and it’s during those times that being adequately equipped, trained and prepared will pay off many times over. A traumatic incident should not be what compels us to seek medical training. Getting the training BEFORE the incident occurs is the best course of action. Proactive, not reactive.

But, buying the best equipment and obtaining the best training in order to be better prepared takes time, money and desire, especially in tough economic times, so you will need to budget for it as best you can. Cut corners in other areas in order to stick a little aside to get things that you know you may need on that “Rainy Day.” Don’t take shortcuts and try to “bargain basement” shop for your gear just so you can get it quicker. Buy it right and buy it once. Your life or the life of a friend or loved one may depend on the quality of gear which you chose and you don’t want to tempt Mr. Murphy, especially when the fecal matter hits the oscillating rotational device. Buying a solid, well thought out med kit with proven components is the first step in the right direction. Learning how to utilize the med kit is another step we need to take to make ourselves more of an asset rather than a liability. This is why all of our kits contain products which have been proven in some of the harshest environments possible AND we offer our “Kit For Life” guarantee which is quite simple; if you use our kit to save a life, send us some documentation and whatever component of the kit you used will be replaced for free.

There are many different specialties in which we can receive training. All of which can increase our ability to be self-sufficient; an asset rather than a liability. Basic emergency medical skills training should be considered one of the cornerstones of being self-sufficient. We should build a solid educational foundation on the fundamentals of medical skills.Having the ability to understand the body’s various processes and what makes us more effective machines is huge as we can focus on more holistic approaches to our well-being by being proactive and preventative so that we never have to tap into that “trauma” side. Our everyday trauma care training fills that niche, and then some, giving the student a “crawl, walk, run” approach to understanding the rationale for our emergency actions rather than just “checking a box”.That said, should something horrible befall us or our friends and loved ones, we will know how to react to the problem, almost instinctively, and understand that there is no “catch all” response. Quite simply, the situation dictates the medicine.

What gives us that edge? Training and repetition. How many of you look around a restaurant when you walk in and see where the exits are and scan the crowd? How many of you like to be seated with your back to a wall with a clear view of all the entrances and exits? Why? Self-preservation. Alright, now how many of you have self-applied a tourniquet to your upper thigh in the dark, seated in your car, with a seatbelt on? Why would you do that? Have you ever seen how thin door panels are and how easily they’re punctured by bullets or understand that your bones can break in a motor vehicle accident? You’d do that for the same reason that you do the once over in a crowded environment; self-preservation. Just a little something to think about. That’s the way we should always be thinking; planning for the worst-case scenario and hoping that it never comes to pass and that’s where practicing after the training comes into play. A big mistake is thinking that just because you’ve got the training means you’re ready. Not so. Readiness can only come with good, solid repetitions which breed proficiency.

What about redundancy? Two is one and one is none. It really isn’t too far out there to say that a second med kit or even a third or fourth med kit is “too much kit”. There’s no such thing. Let’s say you come upon a multiple motor vehicle collision with several victims. Is one kit going to do it? If you carry more than one kit or have more than one kit, where will you put them? One on your person and one in your backpack, purse or Indiana Jones satchel? Again, always think of the worst case scenario. “What if I get separated from my backpack or European Shoulder Bag?”“Will I have at least one kit, on my person, to fix myself in case I’m injured?”

Many of our kits are small and light enough to carry one on your person and stow one in each door panel of a car, the center console or the glove compartment. On a motorcycle; in the saddlebags or panniers. On a bicycle; in a little bag under the seat. On horseback; in the saddlebags. On an ATV or UTV; bungee cord it to a cargo net or rack. At home, many folks talk about “strategically” placing firearms so that they’re readily accessible should something bad happen. I advocate a personal trauma kit on each level of the house and have each member of the family who can operate the kit, trained in it’s use. In my home, I have a trauma kit next to each fire extinguisher. You’re welcome.

Training each family member in the use of the kit is where they will each play a role in each other’s well-being. Our family is a team and each team member has a specific role for emergencies, whether it be a fire drill, tornado drill or yes, even a home invasion drill. Each of these emergencies could require the utilization of the med kit, under a time limit, during different times of day, to get the blood flowing and get some repetitions in under stress. Get practice components and have scenarios where your family members have to activate their roles and render aid to another family member or maybe even more than one to help them with critical thinking skills, problem solving and triage. Don’t practice with your “real” kit but have identical components that you can use for training to give your family members another method of learning; kinesthetically. Have them put on a two minute presentation on how to use a particular piece of kit, the situations it could be utilized in and what could also be used as a field-expedient replacement. After the scenario, have a “hot wash” or de-brief so that everyone can talk about what went well, what they learned and what they can do better. Make it so that they look forward to it. A little friendly competition or sibling rivalry can be a good motivator, too. They’ll be having so much fun that they won’t even realize that they’re building long-term potentiation and learning.

There are many benefits to continually pushing yourself with your practice medical kit items. The more you train, the better you will understand your own limitations and as a result, you will strive to push past those limitations and understand the processes better, which, in turn, make you a better performer. That performance, with either skillset, can mean the difference between life or death.

Train hard, train often and train realistically.

If you lack the medical training component, get that box checked off by taking one of our courses (see our website and check the “Training” tab). You can pass on the skills that you learn to your family and friends and make it “cool”. Whether you do it or not, my friends, is entirely up to you, but the last time I checked, watching helplessly as you or a friend or loved one bleed out ain’t too cool, either.

You be the judge.

Train. Equip. Win.