Save Your Life – Tactical Medicine & Firearms Training

Rangemaster Blog, Tactical Medicine Comments

Civilian Tactical Medicine Training

I got to take the Tactical Combat Casualty Care course through Medical Outfitter Training Consultants in Augusta, GA a few months ago. As a firearms instructor and concealed carry guy, I thought it was important to know how to handle gunshot wounds and potentially life-threatening injuries. I was one of two “hybrids”, or civilians in a class full of police officers and professional medics.

If you are a civilian gun owner and have not had a first responder course focusing on gunshot wounds within the last few years, run, and don’t walk to the nearest training opportunity. It is imperative that civilians get this life-saving training because it is very likely that you will need to save yourself or your loved ones one day in the event of a traumatic injury.
Why is it imperative that the average Joe learn how to quickly place a tourniquet in 30 seconds on his arm/leg using just one hand?
Your limb might get severed in an auto accident and your phone is out of reach. Seconds matter when your arteries are spurting blood.
Why should Joe America know that managing uncontrolled hemorrhaging is critical to increasing survival rates in seriously injured people? Why does the average citizen need to know how to address the most gruesome injuries quickly?
Well, the answer to those questions may shock some of you.

Reality Check for Civilians

There is a priority chain of service rendered for first responders. You may just be on your own in saving your life or the lives of your loved ones if you are unfortunate enough to be gravely injured in situations that are considered dangerous to first responders or in locations that take unusually long response times (rural areas).

You may think that fire, ems, police and other first responders are given tactical medical training so you don’t have to know what they know.
We probably all make assumptions that first responders will help us in our time of need, lying on the ground bleeding from an attack or accident. You may or may not be right.

If the safety of any officer or medic is a concern, you may not receive treatment until the threat to first responders is removed. The priority chain of service rendered is as follows:

  • Police – protect the scene, fellow officers, and other first responders. Then YOU.
  • Medics – render service to police, fellow medics, and other first responders. Then YOU.
  • Bystanders with medical training – These people could help but:
    • May be detained in securing the scene
    • May be restrained by liability issues they perceive or know about
  • YOU – Once everyone responding to your crisis is safe and secure, you will get assistance.
  • Whether or not you are alive at this point, well … how much life saving training do you have again?

With all that said, I understand the priority chain of service rendered and know why it is that way. That’s why I add as much medical training as possible to my overall firearms training regimen . I may need those skills one day and I want to know that I have increased the odds of my survival.


Training You Need

Civilians do not necessarily need tactical combat medicine training. It is unlikely you will be in an active and ongoing firefight when you need assistance. However, TCCC and similar tactical medicine courses cover gunshot wounds and life-threatening traumas. These are still classes worth taking. 

There are also civilian focused hunter safety and home defense first responder classes. Take as much responsibility for your life as possible.  Incorporate first responder medical training into your firearms regimen as soon as you can! You may just save your own life!
I’ll cover IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) and more in the next tactical medicine posts.  
Please feel free to add your comments below.

Find A Class

Civilian First Responder TCCC (Civilian Focused) * Courses offered at Semper Fi Gun Training facility near Atlanta by Medical Outfitter Training Consultants, Inc.