Getting Hurt ≠ Getting First Aid ASAP
You know how in the movies where there's a gun fight or other violent encounter, and right after the good guy has won and freed the hottie chick from whatever goat rodeo she's found herself, the ambulance immediately arrives to tape him and other casualties up? Reality check: that doesn't happen in the real world. Because a) there aren't that many hotties getting into gun fights and b) your EMS heroes aren't going to go in until the cops have completely secured the scene.
Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics today shared this article on the recent shooting at LAX via the miracle that is Facebook. From the article:
"When somebody is shot and they're bleeding to death, lifesaving skills need to be implemented immediately, in a couple minutes, and they're very simple, pressure dressings, tourniquets, adequate bandages to stop the bleeding," said Dr. Lawrence E. Heiskell, an emergency physician for 27 years and a reserve police officer for 24 years who founded the state and federally approved International School of Tactical Medicine.
Let that sink in. You're at the mall this holiday season picking up fine quality products made in China to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, and some nut job starts shooting the place up, hitting you or your child. If you can't deal with the problem on your own, the wait for help is going to take a long, long time. How long, you ask? The headline in that article to which I link above will give you some idea: "LAX security officer bled for 33 minutes as help stood by." Thirty three minutes. For a security officer. (I can assure you, the first responder community takes care of their own, first and foremost. And I don't blame them.)
Forget about shootings for a moment. You're far more likely to be in a car wreck or have some other accident which could cause serious bleeding. Say it only takes half that time for help to arrive. Now we're down to 16 minutes while you bleed out. Still think that's acceptable?
I can hear you now: "Paul, you're being alarmist and a Debbie Downer. Shut up already and talk about more uplifting stuff like MREs and the economy." I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face or until the NSA pulls the plug on my blog: Be ready to execute the basics really well. If you can do that, you are prepared for a wide spectrum of perils. Get some basic gear and training and know what to do. Help may not be around the corner.
Speaking of Being Prepared...
My two high school alma maters had a rough day to day. The Webb School lost in the NACA national football championship this afternoon (proud of our kids and coaches...three years ago, the school didn't even have a football program). And Shelbyville Central High School dealt with a prank caller claiming a student entered the school with a gun.
Fortunately it was a prank and no one was hurt. A dear friend of mine who teaches at that school remarked:
Events from last spring's implementation of a "code white" label made me think "what would I do with my kids if that happened?" I had to execute that plan this morning. I have changed my opinion about always keeping my phone and keys on me after today. I am thankful for this event today as I hope it helps us be a safer place and serves as a reminder to be alert to all situations....Even though it was scary and tense until we had information - I felt safe and that they had it under control...I hope our administration takes this "exercise" and improves our emergency plan.
If you're an educator, you have a tough job in this situation - taking care not only of yourself but the kids placed in your care. I know many schools are proactively discussing how to handle these situations. Let me encourage those of you who do work in school environments to regularly play the "What If" game in your head. "What if" today is the day...do you have your cell phone on you? Keys? How quickly can you get your classroom locked down or secured as best you can? Think through now what you will to then.
Indie Go Go Goes Prepper
As a world renown blogger on the issue of preparedness, I get emails regularly asking me to pitch products and services to you folks. Namely it's Viagra, debt consolidation, and Nigerian stock market investments. (This is how I know I am "world renown." Because if I weren't, I'm sure these folks would not be emailing me.)
I received one today that seemed more normal, and I thought I'd share it with you. These survival kits look interesting. I will curious to see how this takes off. Check it out.