There’s one thing that I’m positive about after the Las Vegas massacre: It’s going to happen again. Maybe it won’t happen the same way. Maybe next time it might be a truck like in Nice, France, or a bomb, or even a knife. But I know one thing for damn sure: At some point in time, for whatever reason, someone is going to hurt a lot of people.
Where will I be when that happens?
And what am I going to do about it?
I’m going to keep this post super straight and to the point, as I’m sure this is only the millionth article you’ve read having to do with Vegas. Hopefully I can add to the deluge of opinions that inevitably follows tragedy.
I get asked sometimes why I prepare for things like this.
It’s because I’m absolutely terrified of being in that situation and not having the equipment or training to DO SOMETHING.
In Vegas, we are talking about an individual that was shooting from a distance, from an elevated position, surrounded by hotel rooms possibly occupied by innocent people. In other words, even if I had been there and had a weapon, there probably wouldn’t be much I could have done to eliminate the threat.
But what about all the people that needed medical help?
I know this is going to happen again. If I am present when it does, how can I make myself useful?
To keep this brief and not get preachy, I’m going to get right to the point here and I’m just going to tell you what I decided to do, and you can use that information as you wish.
- I decided to carry bleeding-control items on my person. I am far more likely to use those items than I ever will a gun. These items are not as bulky as they sound, because I’m limiting it to one pack of Combat Gauze, and a SWAT-T tourniquet. The gauze is vacuum sealed so it’s very trim, and the SWAT-T tourniquet is also pretty flat and pocket-sized. Together, they’re roughly the size of a wallet. Super easy to stick in my pocket.
- I will be carrying a “Mass Casualty” bag to large events. While I typically avoid places that have lots of people, there are some exceptions where I find myself in crowds. I wanted the “Mass Casualty” bag to be nondescript, so I chose a simple drawstring satchel–highly un-tactical-looking. It’s filled with TK4 tourniquets and regular gauze for packing wounds.
- I will continue to train. I’ve had the good luck to be able to attend a highly rated TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care) class, so I’m familiar with some basics such as how to apply a tourniquet and how to pack wounds. But consistent practice is needed to make sure those skills are ready and fluid if I ever need to call upon them. While a class is obviously preferred, if you don’t have the disposable income for such things, you can still learn a lot from YouTube and the Google machine.
A note on the tourniquets mentioned: both TK4 and SWAT-T tourniquets are elastic in nature, as opposed to the CAT and the SOF-T, which are operated by the tightening of a windlass. The CAT and SOF-T are proven to more reliably occlude (cut off) arterial bleeding. However, they are bulkier and much more expensive. Additionally, the TK4 and SWAT-T can more easily be applied to children or small-limbed individuals. As a father of three, this was a factor in my decision-making.
Here are some great videos to get you started on some basics:
And some further listening on the topic, from me and the guys at ManVersations: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/12-the-vegas-shooting/id1258800145?i=1000392975296&mt=2