This weekend, Sparrow Defense hosted our first Injured Shooter course. It was a small course with four students and three instructors. While we've offered this course a number of times, it's been much less popular than our Defensive Pistol courses, our Tactical Rifle 101, and the Shotgun Skills course. For some reason, the emergency medical training hasn't been a big draw.
Sadly, the events of June 12th highlighted the need for this type of training.
We've repeatedly said in courses that you should expect to get hurt or shot in a real fight. The flat range isn't real life. You're standing in front of a target made out of paper or steel. It's not shooting back at you. It's not attempting to stab you. Your awareness that you're in a fight didn't begin with getting shot in the back, struck from behind, or shoved to the ground. You weren't hurt before the exercises started. You weren't at a ballistic disadvantage.
In every class, we make sure we highlight the fact that you are on your own in a crisis. Cops don't just appear. Even when they're on scene, as was the case in Orlando, they can't prevent loss of life completely. The shooter was engaged at the club's doorway, but went on to kill 50 people and injure 52 more. Responding officers were engaging the bad guy, not treating the wounded. In this case, many of the wounded were responsible for getting themselves out of the club and to medical treatment. Some wounded were trapped inside the building with the shooter.
If you haven't considered the reality of what bullets do to people, it's time to start. If you haven't considered how you'll operate your gun without the use of your dominant hand, with missing fingers, or with a shattered femur, do so now. If you're clueless on how to give basic aid to someone with traumatic bleeding, the time to remedy that. Do you have a plan for being shot in the fight, or for treating a loved one who has a life threatening injury?
There are a number of organizations out there offering exceptional training. We believe that our Injured Shooter course has information that would prepare the shooter to both Win and Survive a gunfight. It can also help you save a serious but non-terminal injury. Even if you feel that getting into a gun fight is a remote possibility, traumatic injuries can result from falls, car crashes, household accidents, or negligence on the range. Emergency medical training is a skill that everyone should have.
Due to the heat, class started at 8:00 AM. Ben Ewing began with a two-hour block on Bleeding Control for the Injured, or B-Con. The students were given instruction on how to control bleeding through the use of tourniquets, gauze, and pressure dressings. The course also dealt with patient assessment, airway management, and other life-saving techniques.
Following the B-Con portion, students engaged in skill-building exercises to teach weapon manipulations useful when they were injured. One-handed shooting, reduced mobility shooting, and shooting their way from positions of disadvantage to their feet were all covered on the flat range. Following that, students engaged in scenarios where they needed to work through shooting problems, apply emergency medical treatment to themselves to simulate being shot, and then give aid to another student who was a casualty, all while remaining aware of their environment and continuing to engage threats as they appeared.
We had a great (and hot) time teaching this class. The staff and I appreciate the time and effort of the 4 students who came out and trained in 90+ degree heat. Everyone worked hard, which made it easy for us to instruct the class.