We are now witnessing the aftermath of yet another mass killing. Although information is limited, preliminary analysis and experience suggests that many of the people who died could have been saved, had someone had Bleeding Control (B-CON) skills. As is often the case with a violent threat, law enforcement are minutes away when seconds mean the difference between life and death. The same can be said for the victims of violence.
In 2012, a deranged killer took the lives of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. One lesson learned from that tragedy is that lives would have been saved had immediate treatment been given to the casualties.
In April 2013, just a few months after Newtown, the Joint Committee to Create a National Policy to Enhance Survivability from Intentional Mass Casualty and Active Shooter Events was convened by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This was in response to a presidential policy directive to create a national protocol to enhance survivability during active shooter and intentional mass casualty events. This was accomplished through collaboration with the medical community and representatives from the federal government, the National Security Council (NSC), the military, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and governmental and nongovernmental emergency medical response organizations.
Advances made by military medicine and research in hemorrhage
control during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
have clearly demonstrated the value of early treatment using tourniquets.
Initially, these protocols were limited to special operations forces. As the value of these techniques was fully realized, they were pushed down to the entire military and has reached most federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and beyond.
The concepts used in Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) need to be pushed down to the lowest possible level, meaning the average citizen. In the same manner that CPR is being taught to the general public, control of life-threatening hemorrhage and other basic lifesaving skills need to be taught.
Following this, the “Stop the Bleed” campaign was initiated by a federal interagency work group convened by the NSC and the White House. The purpose of the campaign is to build national resilience by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life-threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters.
Distributed Security, Inc. is a National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians training center and offers B-CON and Tactical Combat Casualty Care-All Combatants (TCCC-AC), as well as Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) for those with a medical background.
Our ability to offer this training on the national level is limited by restrictions placed on instructor qualifications by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). In response to these restrictions, we have developed exportable training that follows the TCCC guidelines and teaches live saving skills desperately need in our communities. Although we cannot offer a B-CON certificate, we believe skills are more important than a piece of paper.
In our combative firearms training programs, we stress that you need to carry your weapon every day. Using the same logic, you need to carry an individual first aid kit. It needs to be part of your everyday carry. I personally carry an ankle rig that contains a CAT tourniquet, a needle for decompressing a tension pneumothorax, and hemostatic gauze.
These skills and techniques work and they save lives. The real tragedy will be a life lost because you lack the skills or supplies to save it.
For further information, please contact Dr. Chuck Gbur at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck Gbur MD – VP Tactical Medicine Distributed Security Inc.
Chuck is a retired Battalion Surgeon and currently an interventional cardiologist. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology and Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine. He held numerous positions as a medical officer in the US Navy, including Battalion Surgeon, Marine Rear Area Operation Group Surgeon, Regimental Surgeon, and Advisor to The Medical Officer of the Marine Corps. He was a graduate of the Naval War College and Joint Forces Staff College.