One range accessory that should be in every shooter's range bag is a medical kit. I'm not talking a fully-stocked EMT medical bag, complete with SAM splint's and the like, I'm speaking specifically about an individual first-aid kit to treat a gunshot wound until paramedics can arrive.
Accidents happen and a person can bleed out in minutes from a femoral artery bleed caused by a negligent discharge. No one wants to be left unprepared, especially when the clock may be ticking. Even the most simplistic kit can be an absolute lifesaver.
5.11 Tactical recently teamed up with North American Rescue to create the UCR System, also known as the Urban Casualty Response Individual First Aid Kit.
Contained in the 5.11 Tactical, quick-entry, MOLLE compatible zippered pouch is:
- Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT)
- Bear Claw Glove Kit
- 4-inch Pressure Dressing
- HyFin Chest Seal (x2)
- QuikClot Bleeding Control Dressing
Combat Application Tourniquet
A tourniquet used to be considered a no-no, but the global war on terrorism has shown us a tourniquet is a life-saving tool especially when used properly.
A belt is not a Tourniquet and is hardly a substitute. Get the real thing. The North American Rescue CAT has proven to be 100-percent effective in occluding blood flow in both upper and lower extremities by the United States Army's Institute of Surgical Research.
The CAT has a single routing buckle for lightning-fast application, which translates into less blood loss, effective slack removal and fewer windlass turns. It's simple and easy to use.
Pro Tip: Pre-size your tourniquet to fit over the largest footwear you own, this will make application much faster and less complicated.
Bear Claw Glove Kit
Many communicable diseases are transferred by blood, so always use gloves before applying any of these products to someone else. Bear Claw gloves are 100-percent Nitrile and resist snags and rips.
A permanent marker is a very useful tool. If applying a tourniquet, it is important to record the time of application. Write this on the tourniquet itself. You can record other pertinent information on an extremity and this information can be invaluable to first responders.
4-Inch Pressure Dressing
A pressure dressing is very effective, especially when combined with a tourniquet. Included in the 5.11 kit is North American Rescue's 4-inch Responder Emergency Trauma Dressing.
Not only will it deliver effective pressure and fluid absorption, it features a high-quality elastic wrap equipped with a nonadherent pad, as well as easy-to-use, hook-and-loop securing device.
HyFin Chest Seal Twin Pack
A pair of HyFin chest seals are included in the UCR and are for treatment of both entry and exit wounds, as well as other penetrating injuries to the torso, such as a gunshot or stab wound.
A penetrating chest wound creates an opening in the chest wall that can allow air to enter into the chest cavity. Known as open pneumothorax, it is one of the top three leading causes of preventable deaths on the battlefield.
The HyFin chest seal in the UCR utilizes an advanced adhesive gel designed to treat open pneumothorax. The seal is designed to work, even if the patient is covered in blood, sweat, body hair or other environmental contaminants.
The HyFin is a large 6-inch by 6-inch transparent sheet that allows for accurate placement over the wound, easily conforming to the chest. Again, this unit is both easy to use and easy to apply.
QuikClot has made a very good name for itself because it works so well minimizing bleeding. A bleeding control Z-fold dressing is included and is impregnated with an advanced hemostatic agent to stop the bleeding of superficial wounds, minor cuts and abrasions.
5.11 Tactical UCR IFAK Pouch
The UCR pouch is a drop-front pouch built around an aware-and-prepare mindset. It is constructed using 1050D ballistic nylon and features a MOLLE-compatible, SlickStick attachment system for attaching to range bags, backpacks, or even a belt.
A simple tug of the Velcro clasped nylon grab handle will unzip a pair of zippers, opening the pouch completely, allowing unimpeded access to all contents. Each component has a specified place within the pouch and are secured via bungee tiedowns. All in all, this is a very well thought-out, easy access pouch and small enough to take anywhere.
Bundled together the joint 5.11 Tactical and the North American Rescue UCR IFAK kit is an effective means of treating life-threatening, firearm-related injuries. This is a must have for any range bag, car trunk or residence.
For a little more than the cost of a one day shooting course, you can purchase some piece of mind for around $289. Once you've obtained the kit, take it to your local ambulance service, fire department or EMT and ask a paramedic for a crash course on the application of each component; they'll be happy to help you out.