During active shooter or mass casualty events, first responders and bystanders already on scene are often the only hope of saving lives. Each bleeding victim can die from blood loss in less than five minutes and cannot wait for an ambulance to arrive. Even after medical teams arrive, medics must still find and triage people they can safely access. Therefore, equipping as many people on scene as possible buys precious time and saves lives.
Reaction teams must come prepared with three crucial assets:
- Active Shooter Kits. Getting the injured to safety, especially if you are the only responder in the area, is obviously dangerous. Since standard concealment vests are not designed to protect against the advanced threats of active shooter situations, adding ballistic plates to your protection increases your odds of survival if hit.
- Bleed Training. The ability to give succinct safety and medical commands to those around you multiplies the number of people that can be treated. Since victims might not only be civilians but also fellow responders or even yourself, simple instructions will help dissuade panic and quickly change bystanders into additional assets. Resources such as the “Stop the Bleed” site provided by the Department of Homeland Security are excellent places to start.
- Medical Kits. Compact medical kits encompass a wide spectrum of ways to minimize blood loss. From gauze to clotting to tourniquets, medical kit options offer quick-application solutions to employ until further help arrives. Even if you don’t see a kit that fully meets your needs, you can customize a kit that will.
Prepare now. A little forethought today could not only save the lives of others but your own life as well.