Why Gun Owners Should Get Tactical First Aid Training

If you own a gun, especially if it's for self defense, you should seek training to become proficient in the use of firearms. But there's another kind of training you should have as well: tactical first aid.

Why? Because inherent in any self defense situation is the possibility that you will be shot, stabbed, or otherwise face life-threatening injuries.

What's the good of having the tools and training to use a firearm to defend your life if you die moments later as a result of the attack?

Fortunately, the sort of training that can save your life is not particularly expensive or time-consuming. And it does not require you to become a full-fledged emergency medic.

Bleeding is the most immediate threat following a lethal force attack. Depending on the location of the injury, a bullet or knife wound can cause massive blood loss that could kill you in as little as 2 or 3 minutes. Tactical first aid focuses on how to quickly stop the bleeding until medical professionals can render care.

This sort of training goes by many names, including tactical first aid and stop the bleed. In military circles, where the training originated, it's often referred to as "T triple C" or Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

The training centers on how to apply a tourniquet, apply pressure, pack wounds, open airways, and a handful of simple, proven techniques that anyone can learn. Firearms organizations such as Buckeye Firearms Association in Ohio offer this training. Plus you can access training through national organizations such as First Care Providers. Locally, fire and police departments may offer training as well.

And while tactical first aid kits can be extensive, a small kit can include just a few key components. For example, North American Rescue offers a compact Bleeding Control Kit with high-quality components for just $65. The kit includes a tourniquet, dressing, gauze, gloves, shears, and instructions.

Note that there are many cheap tourniquets on the market, especially sold on Amazon, that can fail and risk lives. These are often designed to look like higher quality tourniquets right down to the finest detail. It's vital to buy from a reputable dealer. As a rule, if a tourniquet is less than $30, it's not reliable. Second Call Defense has no relationship to North American Rescue, but we do recommend them as a reputable source of emergency medical products.

It's also worth noting that this training can come in handy even if you're not involved in a shooting. Serious bleeding injuries from household tools, car accidents, outdoor activities, or natural disasters pose the same risk. So having a bleeding control kit in your home and car is a smart idea.