The first aid kit kept in the back of a vehicle may do little to serve you on the range if an accident or tragedy occurs. It’s something that no responsible gun owner likes to talk about, but in the course of training with or being forced to use a firearm in self-defense, you may find yourself needing to stop the bleeding, start the breathing and treat for shock until more qualified medical technicians arrive. This is why firearms owners should develop a procedure to request qualified help, learn how to administer aid and obtain a trauma kit.
In terms of being capable of responding to a shooting injury, the essentials of a kit should include a tourniquet, bandages, gauze, a nasopharyngeal airway tube, nitrile gloves, surgical tape, a face shield and trauma shears.
You can spend a lot of money assembling a more comprehensive medical bag, but medical kits are something than can grow with your experience and training. G&A editors carry a basic Operator IFAK offered by Tacical Medical Solutions, which can be ordered at tacmedsolutions.com for less than $74. The aforementioned contents are organized in a full-zip nylon pouch that can be ordered in black, green, Multi Cam, tan, red, and bright orange.
Also, the Operator IFAK can be carried aboard an airplane for travel because it is classified as a medical device by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Therefore, it can be conveniently attached to the side of any carry-on bag that features MOLLE webbing. Though the medical shears may call for additional TSA screening, you’ll be allowed to carry them once they’ve verified that they are not scissors.
On receipt of any medical kit, be sure to keep the sealed packs of dressing and gauze as-is so they remain sterile. However, we do recommend removing the tourniquet from its plastic bag for faster access and employment.
Even with the best kit, no gear is very useful without appropriate training.