When packing for a trip, we all have a routine. I start with my toiletry bag, then count out how many days of socks and underwear I need, then stare at the closet wondering what I should wear. Ugh. The first thing I see when packing my toiletry bag is the full-size pair of scissors and my 5.11 knife. Both of those items lives in that bag so I always make sure to have something to use as a self-defense tool no matter where I go. It also means that I check-in my suitcase every time that I fly. After all the bags are packed, my attention turns to my carry gun. I have a perfect little gun box that secures my gun and ammo, and fits perfectly in my luggage. I usually plan extra time to do the dance with TSA, but there are times that I travel to states where it is not legal for me to conceal carry my gun or even to be in possession of it. Knowing I have a knife in my luggage, I settle on that as my self-defense tool for the trip, and take this into consideration with my situational awareness and choices that I make while out and about.
I just returned from my annual trip to Washington, DC. Knowing I would be in and out of DC and Virginia I opted to leave the gun at home and go with my back-up plan of knife and good sense. I had the pleasure of taking this trip with my good friend, Dianna Muller, who is founder of the DC Project, retired police officer, and professional shooter. Dianna always travels with a firearm because she doesn’t have the same restrictions with her status as a retired police officer. What I appreciated the most from my “roomie” was she included me in her what-if plan. She also went one step further, she said, “I have my trauma kit here, too.” No matter what purse or tote bag she carried throughout the weekend, the trauma kit was always with her.
“Ever since the Orlando shooting, I’ve been wondering how many people could have been saved if they had a tourniquet or the idea to use a tourniquet! I’ve since decided that I should carry a little trauma kit. I wear a belt to the airport as it’s a dual-purpose item: fashionable to hold my pants up AND tourniquet!” says Dianna. I asked her if she knew how to use everything in her kit and her reply was, “Yes, I learned, but even if I didn’t odds are in a crisis situation of any kind someone will know how to use it.”
If the people trapped in the Orlando night club had access to trauma kits, how would the outcome have been affected? (We can extend that conversation to say what if they were armed, or what if they fought back with tools of opportunity, but let’s stay focused on this topic.) How would the outcome of a car accident be different while waiting for help to arrive be different if you had a trauma kit in your car? I could “what if” this question for hours and I’m sure we can agree every situation it would be better to have it.
Having a trauma kit is Step 1, making sure you have quality products in it is Step 2, and knowing how they work is Step 3. Do Steps 1 & 2, and then seek out a training course that will teach you how to properly use your kit. We all lead busy lives and fitting in one more training course and expense is something that may put this on the back burner for you, but it could be the difference between life and death, not only for you but your children, your spouse, your co-workers, even a stranger. Think of it this way: if you carry a gun or knife you seek out training. Basic first aid and trauma kit training are so important and often forgotten.
Active shooter and trauma training is available more than ever. Check with your city or county on what is offered for free, sign up for a class with a credible company like Lone Star Medics, and watch programs online or on cable networks. There is no such thing as too much information and exposure. Dianna says, “I’m really excited about a upcoming special episode of “Best Defense” that is basically a training course for a mass casualty event. Whether you are a concealed carry person or not, you will learn something from it.” Check your listings on the Outdoor Channel for air dates and times.
As I prepare for my next trip in a few weeks, I will be adding one more thing to my packing routine: making sure I have my trauma kit.