Emergency On The Range: Are You Prepared?

    My friend was at a USPSA match last Sunday when the worst case scenario happened. Someone got shot. From what I hear, the match has concrete dividers for the bays. Supposedly a projectile managed to go inbetween a crack between the concrete blocks used as dividers. A shooter was down range in one bay, pasting targets, while another shooter in the bay next door was shooting his stage.

    From the stage design, some of the targets were positioned in a way that the concrete wall was used as a backstop.

    Back when I was shooting USPSA in NY, the range we used had similar bays just narrower. However one aspect to the concrete bays is that it LIMITED our ability to shoot left and right. We knew better than to set up targets at oblique angles with concrete directly behind them.


    It seems the problem is the stage design. There are some targets that are at the right angle that you are shooting directly into the concrete wall. Poor planning. Concrete walls are not supposed to be back stops.They are there in the odd case someone misses and a ricochet is caught by the wall. You are not supposed to deliberately shoot at the wall.

    So far the reports say that the victim is fine. There are things to consider when shooting at a range with other shooters such as a USPSA match. Most matches are just a bunch of members of the club who organize and design stages. However some of them do not have complete safety briefings nor medical training for problems. I recall at a recent local match the match director making a point to call out a designated person for just an eventuality. They would be the person to get the first aid kit and authorities would contact them. However how many of us really know what to do? I see some shooters actually carrying tourniquets on their range belts. Nothing wrong with that but it does not help when you get shot in the chest. Quikclot is better than nothing but we should seek proper training. Do you know what to do if someone gets shot?

    Edit: names and video removed upon request.

    Nicholas C

    Steadicam Gun Operator
    Night Vision & Thermal Aficionado
    Flashlight/Laser Enthusiast
    USPSA competitor

    Any questions please email him at [email protected]