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Review – Shooter Self Care Class

As part of our trip to the NRA Annual Meeting, Girlie Bear and I attended a Shooter Self Care class put on by Ambulance Driver and his cohort, EMS Artifact.  The point of the class was to provide information on the steps and equipment a shooter could use to provide first aid to a gunshot victim or heart attack sufferer until professional first responders arrive.  This class was a shorter version of a class that AD has put together for Range Officers.  The four-hour block of instruction included such topics as:

  • Things to consider when an accident happens (Giving accurate directions to 911, clearing the range, assisting EMS)
  • Prioritization of injuries
    • Life threatening injuries – Airway, Breathing, Circulation – Kill you quick if not taken care of
    • Secondary injuries – Kill you eventually, but not before EMS gets there
  • Introduction to one person, compressions only CPR
  • Use of tourniquet on both yourself and another person
    • AD did a brief overview of improvised tourniquets, but concentrated on the SOF-T tourniquet
  • Arterial, veinal, and capillary bleeding
  • Use of chemical coagulants (Celox, Quikclot)
  • Eye Injuries
  • Burns
  • Sucking chest wounds and other injuries

These subjects filled up the four hours quite nicely.  The only thing I would have added was a short blurb on blood-borne pathogens and infection control, but I didn’t think to ask about that until the next day.

AD did an excellent job of going over the basics and describing both common injuries and methods to give first aid for them.  He used photographs and videos of actual injuries to illustrate his points, and while they could be graphic, they were not gratuitously so.  He and the other instructors were patient with questions and gave answers that neither patronized nor went over our heads.  AD used some jargon, but always made a point of explaining terms in language that we could all understand.

Hopefully the NRA, NSSF, or another shooter/outdoor organization sees the value in education such as this and fills the need in the market.  There are a lot of people coming into shooting, and having more people trained in the basics of first aid for common injuries and issues that can be found at the range or in the hunting grounds will go a long way to making everyone safer.

I’d like to thank Ambulance Driver and EMS Artifact for putting on the class, as well as Bound Tree Medical, Brownell’s, and Franciscan St. Francis Healthcare for their support of the class.  If this class or one like it is offered to you, I suggest that you spend a few hours taking it.

Contents of the first aid kit that was provided with the class. Contents included a SOF-T tourniquet, HALO seal for chest wounds, gloves, gauze, bandages, and assorted other supplies.



  1. Yep, it was good, and good on Girlie Bear for hanging in there through the pics…


  2. Next year in Nashville!

    (I hope…)


  3. Great synopsis! It was a fantastic class!


  4. Nice writeup! It was nice to meet you and your daughter – sounds like she’s becomming quite a shooter! You better keep up your rifle skills on the range this summer! 🙂


    • Oh yeah. I’m starting to joke that it’s not me that prospective boyfriends will have to worry about if they hurt her.


  5. Murphy's Law

     /  May 2, 2014

    It was a great class and kudos to Kelly for putting it all together as professionally as he did.


  6. tooldtowork

     /  May 5, 2014

    Thanks for the nice comments, everyone! As to blood borne pathogens, I make it a habit to avoid them! I would recommend that you get some gloves (non Latex) to include in the kit along with some of those handy wipe things for cleaning up afterwards. And as Kelly said, keep you eye pro on when treating someone.


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