Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What I Did

In both February and March, I asked myself "What Can I Do?" with regard to mass shootings. Primarily, I carry at work. I know that the threat to our campus is not going to be some random stranger, but someone we "know" - either a former student or a student's former significant other.

But the question was, "what else can I do?".

In the Renegade Medics' post, they mentioned the following:
"I can’t tell the country how to stop school shootings and I’m not even certain if there is such a solution. Certainly violence seems to find its way to every country eventually and when violence isn’t present, innocent injuries and accidents also occur. I do however know about preventable death and I do know that there are ways that we can prepare faculty and students and equip schools to handle the common injuries seen in these tragic events and if we can at least minimize the deaths, that in itself is progress. Here are some recommendations I have:
-Require all teachers and faculty members to attend annual first aid training specifically related to traumatic injuries such as the DHS “Stop the Bleed” training.
-Make annual “Stop the Bleed” training available to all secondary school students or built into the curriculum. This training can be accomplished in less than half of one school day.
-Require school nurses and other campus medical staff to attend and maintain Tactical Emergency Casualty Care certification (a two day course). This will allow them to oversee implementation in each school and serve as a better resource.
-Identify teachers and faculty members who have experience in pre-hospital medicine such as military veterans and volunteer Fire/EMS personnel who can take on additional responsibilities with implementing a program like this and will be of additional help in an actual event.
-Strategically placed small caches of medical supplies, ideally in individual classrooms. This is to avoid having to leave a locked or barricaded classroom to retrieve medical supplies during an active incident.
-Expand availability and funding for more EMS providers to attend Tactical Emergency Casualty Care training and facilitate more EMS Rescue Task Force training"
I took what they had to say to heart, talked to my Campus Director and got him to agree to mandatory CPR/FA training for all faculty and staff members. In March, we certified 20 employees in CPR/FA for the community. I wanted to make the Advanced Bleeding Control (similar to Stop the Bleed) mandatory, but settled for the basics.

I also opened up a free Advanced Bleeding Control course to staff, faculty, students, and their families. Through that program, I certified 13 people in Advanced Bleeding Control. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, so I bought some bone-in pork roasts. I shot one with a 9mm and stabbed/sliced the other, so they would have the opportunity to both pack a wound and use a pressure dressing on the other. A bit of stage blood helped to add to the effect.

Knife stab/slash to the "thigh"

GSW to the other "thigh". Bullet hit the bone and re-directed, exiting what would have been the butt cheek.

The students opted to pull down the patient's pants to pack the wound.

Direct pressure, using 4x4s and improvised pressure dressing.
The course was well received and I've already had requests to repeat it, which I'll do on campus again this summer. I had the students use four different kinds of TQs on our practice mannequin, so they could decide which they preferred. Unanimously, they chose the C-A-T, which is good, because that is what is staged.

While I was talking my Campus Director into requiring everyone to be CPR/FA certified, I managed to talk him into dumping money into staging bleeding control kits throughout campus. We now have them prominently displayed in every classroom and lab on campus. No one is more than 10-15 seconds away from a bleeding control kit, no matter where they are on campus.

Coming off of the success of teaching the course on campus, I managed to get permission from the Undersheriff to offer the class to our volunteer Posse members in May, which will allow our volunteers to carry their TQs.

While I can't accomplish everything laid out by the Renegade Medics, I do feel good about the changes I did make and will continue to do so. I hope others take their words to heart and do what you can to make your community (no matter how small or big) safer.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Do I Need the Super Elk Blaster 2000?

It never fails to to amaze me. You go into a gun store a few months before hunting season, and you will hear it. It, being some idiot behind the counter telling someone that they need the biggest most expensive gun they have in stock to hunt elk. When I hear that I want to turn around and walk out. Most of the time I wait around or slip into their conversation. The employee always seem to get annoyed with me and my two cents. Tough cookies!

My advice is always this: Hunt with the gun you are most comfortable with!

People always say you need a big gun, say a .300,.338, 375. What horse crap!!! While having all that energy can be a good thing, most people I know can't handle the recoil; and it causes them to flinch horribly. This causes a lot of animals to be wounded and suffer the rest of their days.

Personally I would rather take someone elk hunting that has a smaller caliber gun that can put all their shots where they need to, than to have someone that has a big caliber that can't get a decent group.. I know, I know, smaller calibers don't have a lot of energy compared to the big boys.  But all that energy isn't worth a hill of beans if you can't hit the target.

Take my mother for example. She shoots a .308. And she has had no problems dropping elk out to 400 yards. Sure the .308 doesn't have the highest energy level but she can put 5 rounds in a group the size of a dime. It's all about shot placement. Another group of buddies hunt everything with a .243 win. and they have harvested all the big game animals the lower 48 has to offer. Sure they have to get a little bit closer, but that's the fun part. Trying to get as close as you can without the animal knowing you are there.

According to the CPW hunting brochure all you need is rifle cartridge of at least .24 caliber with a bullet weight of at least 85 grs. producing 1000 ft lbs of energy for hunting elk and moose.

So if you have a hard time with recoil don’t fret, just grab your favorite light recoiling hunting rifle and head to the range. Then challenge yourself to see how small of a group you can get. When you can get a small group don’t be afraid to head out to get that elk. Just remember to keep your shots within a reasonable range, and you’ll have no problem filling that freezer.