Increasing The Ability To Survive In Critical Trauma Incidents

By Richard Smith

The horrific events in Parkland, Florida, Sutherland Springs, Texas, and, unfortunately, other locations around the U.S., have propelled a nationwide conversation on preventing and responding to an active shooter situation. This dialogue has led to an increase in training focused on empowering people to take action—to heed the DHS recommendation to ‘run, hide, fight’. By taking part in this discussion and participating in these trainings, we’re actively working to reduce the number of victims.

These critical conversations are one (very important) piece of the puzzle. We must also have a frank discussion about what happens if prevention fails. Essential to surviving the first ten minutes of a critical incident—whether it be an active shooter scenario or a significant weather event—is knowing how to control severe blood loss.

Recent mass casualty events, like last year’s hotel shooting in Las Vegas or the Boston Marathon bombings, saw lives saved as bystanders—“immediate responders” if you will—began administering aid before trained first responders arrived. Many of these immediate responders were medical, military, or off-duty law enforcement personnel who had one thing in common: hemorrhage control training.

The role of the immediate responder is a crucial one in helping people survive future active shooter events. Consider that the average EMS response time in an urban area is seven minutes—longer in rural areas—and even after EMS has arrived on scene, there may still be a delay as law enforcement secures the area. Yet a person can bleed to death in three to five minutes, depending on the severity of injury.

Can every one of those victims afford those seven minutes, or more? We must train and equip employees, security, teachers, and, sadly, even our children, to survive should the worst happen.

Join me on Wednesday, 26 September at the 2018 Global Security Exchange GSX 2018 for Session #6221, Surviving the First 10 Minutes: Increasing The Ability to Survive in Critical Trauma Incidents. I will present on the role of the immediate responder and demonstrate equipment recommended for their use.