On March 31st, there was a very successful event; National Stop The Bleed Day. During this event, 133k students trained in the skill of hemorrhage control. It is no secret that I harbor a long-standing thought that everyone should spend time training in whatever skills are relevant to their personal situation. When ITS Tactical sent me their new TourniQuick product to review, it seemed like a good time for a post about preparedness.
The Preparedness Mindset
I would argue that most gun owners, especially in the United States, have some sort of mindset that lends itself to being prepared for worst case scenarios. Why bother carrying a firearm? Why jump through the local processes to acquire a gun? Why be responsible for the care and feeding of one? Why seek out training to improve your handling skills and accuracy and precision?
All of that for the minuscule chance that you will need to deploy it to either warn off an impending attack or actually engage an adversary. Even for professionals that carry firearms, rarely will their firearms be discharged in the environment they are deployed to (with the sole exception of an actively hot battlespace). You basically have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to fire your gun in a defensive or offensive situation.
That said, when it is that time, in that place, nothing else will suffice. I have the same opinion of certain pieces of medical equipment, and with the thought that they have a far greater likelihood of being deployed for most people. The tourniquet being one of those pieces of equipment.
If you have someone bleeding out in front of you, a simple piece of kit can be the difference between life and death, and while many of you may have a concealed pistol and maybe a spare magazine, how many of you carry a tourniquet (or appropriate gauze suitable for packing into an appropriate wound)? And if you do carry that gear, do you know how to effectively deploy and use it?
With respect to the above CoTCCC recommended tourniquets, that is where the below product has some utility.
We briefly covered a new product at SHOT 2018 called the TourniQuick. I was sent one for review and I had the opportunity to run it on numerous shifts with my Sheriff Department, in some Wilderness Medicine classes I taught, and with some other ways to utilize it. Fortunately, I did not need to actually use it during my testing period.
What makes the TourniQuick a really useful piece of gear is the ability to attach a rapidly deployable tourniquet in an almost unlimited number of ways while keeping it protected from the environment. On shift, I wear it on my duty belt. When I am out hiking, it is attached to my pack, either on my top carry handle or PALS webbing. All other times I leave it attached to the “Oh Sh*T” handle in my truck.
“Back in the day”, we used to attach our tourniquets to our kit with rubber bands. While that worked well for its purpose, the tourniquets were always exposed to the austere environment, including direct sunlight (which we all know breaks down plastics, webbing, and rubber bands over time), water (from rain, etc), and dust (which can work it’s way into attachment points and can damage them with time and movement). And how many people constantly inspect the tourniquet for damage when they inspect their rifle? I would bet the number or tourniquet inspectors is far smaller. Not to mention, you can’t function check a tourniquet under stress with potentially compromising its integrity. So anything you can do to protect it while not impeding the ability to rapidly deploy it a big positive.
It is a pretty simple concept. Basically, you thread the non-windlass end through the detachable “lid” and fold the tourniquet up inside the body of the pouch. Then you adhere the “lid” to the body of the pouch. To deploy, all you have to do is yank on the red handle and the tourniquet pulls easily out of the pouch ready to use.
My biggest complaint with the TourniQuick is that I wish “TOURNIQUET” was imprinted in high contrasting stitching on the outside (or a velcro area to attach a patch that could do the same thing). Much like an AED, it would be useful in a stressful situation to be able to direct someone to a location and say “Go to my truck and bring me the pouch that says ‘Tourniquet’.” rather than “Go to my truck and bring me the black colored pouch that is next to all of the other black colored pouches and is oblong and has a subdued ‘TQ’ on it.” But that is a minor issue.
Stop The Bleed Day
March 31st was the “National Stop The Bleed Day” and FREE training was being given to anyone willing to learn. Visit https://www.stopthebleedday.org/ to learn more about the initiative or visit https://www.bleedingcontrol.org/ to find a class near you. In fact, there are still numerous free training sessions happening all over the US.
I don’t ultimately care how you carry a tourniquet (or other hemorrhage control adjunct), but I do strongly feel that everyone that carries a firearm (or regularly interacts with them) should have something at hand to stop bleeding. The TourniQuick makes for simple and easy storage and deployment of a tourniquet, which, honestly, should be a required piece of EDC gear.