Monday, September 24, 2012

Daily Briefing For Monday, September 24, 2012

Why I Rule, And Why You People Don't

So while the rest of you were spending the weekend watching football or hanging out at the lake or in a sports bar somewhere wearing a jersey of your favorite team (BTW - Adult males don't wear jerseys unless they are participating in the sport.  Ever.) or doing some other less than kick-ass activity, I spent two days running through the woods and other obstacle courses in 95 degree heat, shooting at things while the move, performing emergency first aid under fire and dragging dead bodies for hundreds of yards. 

Caleb ran his Med X - EDC class at KR Training this past weekend.  Friends, this is about as close to a real gun fight as you can get without having to endure one.  It was an exhausting two days, but I learned a tremendous amount from two combat veteran instructors, both of whom have extensive first responder experience with Fire/EMS/PMC duty over the years.  Karl, the boss of KR Training, has always been willing to bring in high caliber instructors to his facility to teach things outside of his expertise.  This class was no exception.

If you want to know what we did, the Med X-EDC link above will give you a lot of insight.  But this picture may give you an even better idea:

So in this pic, I am in the foreground.  Note the recoil of my gun as I've just fired a shot at the target (see below).  Brian's in the back ground.  He's found an AK-47, and he's about to open up on another bad guy down range.

Look to the right of the blue barrels.  That mannequin lying there is Randy.  Randy is a clumsy SOB.  He got shot a lot over this weekend, requiring all of us to drag his heavy ass (200 lbs +, I am guessing...Caleb would never tell us) behind cover and perform emergency first aid on him, using tourniquets, hemostatic bandages, pressure bandages, and chest seals.  And oh yeah, the bad guys are shooting at you while you do it. 

Moments before, Brian and I formulated a stategery to go get Randy.  Below, you can see we are on the move.  Communicating with each other the whole time, we'd decided that Brian would go out to get Randy and that I would shoot at bad guys while he did it.  (This is another reason I am awesome.  I made Brian go out and do the hard part.  I just stayed behind cover and shot at people.)

More action from another angle.  That picture of some dude that looked like Ice-T on crack pointing a gun at me was no match for me and my Glock 34 with Charger sights from Dawson Precision. 

So now that I've shown you all the pictures where I look cool, let me show one of several my epic fails during the two days.  Caleb told me I had been shot in the right arm (that wasn't the epic fail; being the shooter on the team means you're out front where the action is, so it's quite conceivable you are going to get hit.), and so I had to stop the bleeding.  I first tried to stop the bleeding with a bandage, but Caleb disagreed with that decision, stating I should have put on a tourniquet instead.  As a result, I passed out due to excessive blood loss and Brian had to stop what he was doing for Randy to put the tourniquet on me.

In addition to this one exercise, we had a fair amount of classroom training on the use of bandages, tourniquets, hemostatic agents and chest seals.  Having been through Caleb's Med X class last year, this class really helped get the concepts to congeal in my head.  In our last exercise, we did force on force training with airsoft guns, which is always eye opening.
Lessons learned:
1. Get off the X.  This is a popular saying in the self defense community.  The X is where you are, right now.  You need to move when bullets start flying.  We got really jammed up in one particular exercise when we didn't get off the X fast enough.
2. If you're going to run out from behind cover, have a plan of action.  See my reference to number 1 above.  You are of no help to anyone if you get shot.  Take care of yourself first, so you can help the others.
3. If you're going to have medical gear, practice putting it on.  I need to get a training tourniquet and some training pressure bandages.  In a crisis, you lose fine motor skills.  Knowing how to quickly apply them to yourself and others makes a huge difference in an environment where seconds count.
4. Wearing long sleeved shirts in the Texas heat was not as bad as I'd thought it would be.  Many of the students wore long sleeved garments and pants during the activities, despite the fact it was really hot outside.  I tried that on the second day, and I found it was an effective way to keep the sun off my skin as well as good protection for when I was rolling around on the ground or running through the woods.
5. Never let go of your gun in a gun fight.  I got hammered on this one.  I did a magazine change while shooting with my non-dominant hand (since Caleb enjoyed watching me suffer through having to shoot my gun weak handed).  I laid my gun down on the ground (since I only had one functioning hand) to get a fresh magazine.  I should have done the traditional one handed reload technique behind cover and not let go of my gun.  In my defense, I thought it was safer to put it on the deck than to do the one handed reload technique, but upon further review, Caleb was absolutely right - the technique is safe, and I should have done it.
You are far more likely to need to use first aid gear and training in your lifetime than you are your firearm and self defense training.  Learn first aid, and be ready to use it when the time comes.
I highly recommend this particular class if you are looking for the full self defense experience.

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