Over the years, my wife, daughter and I have completed various training opportunities to learn first aid, CPR, and AED usage. I had some basic "tactical" first aid as a police officer years ago and my daughter will be a senior this coming fall as she completes her bachelor degree in nursing... so you'd think we'd have the first aid aspects covered around here. The thing I know with complete certainty is that the more we learn, the more we realize how little we know... and therefore we always seek to learn more.
Our training side, G4 Personal Safety, recently hosted Greg Ellifritz of Active Response Training at our home facility for his Tactical First Aid & System Collapse Medicine Course. As a firearms instructor, prepper, 4H Shooting Sports instructor and advisor, and just as a regular folks who have decided to take responsibility for our own safety... I can assure you that this course is a "must have" for those of you seeking training to protect yourselves, your loved ones, your colleagues, or just firearm instructors better equipping themselves to serve their students. This IS NOT just another Red Cross First Aid course.
Greg has served almost two decades as a police officer in a central Ohio city, much of that time as his department's full-time training officer. Additionally, he has traveled the world extensively and brings a wealth of knowledge, information, and experience with him into the classroom. You can look at Greg's extensive list of qualifications, but experiencing his excellent instruction and enthusiasm can only be done in person.
It is not my intention to do a play-by-play recount of the course and it's contents here, as that is what Greg gets paid for... but I want to highlight some key aspects and explain why this course should be on your priority list, not your bucket list. Students in this particular class ranged from average folks, to paramedics, to police academy candidates, to former military and law enforcement.
While there are a lot of people interested in treating gun shot wounds and suturing severed limbs back into place... the content that Greg presents is applicable and adaptable to just about everyone from those concerned with preparedness, to those gearing up for tactical encounters, and to those just wanting to further their knowledge and training to deal with severe injuries and bleeding... like the kind that comes from gunshot wounds. Truthfully, in the rural area where we live... a severe injury or laceration is not that uncommon and on a good day we're at least twenty minutes or more for a volunteer or paid first responder to show up on scene.... therefore, always reminding us that we are our own first responders.
Additionally, Greg and his terrific assistant instructor Lauren, demonstrated many common methods of assessing and treating injuries based on the most recent Tactical Combat Casualty Care protocols and provided opportunities for everyone in the class to practice the appropriate application of bandages, pressure dressings, clotting agents, tourniquets, and even suturing and stapling of lacerations... with willing patients from the poultry section of the grocery store.
Greg also spent time imparting knowledge and wisdom about what is acceptable to do and what is not, like when you're crossing the line into practicing medicine, which is illegal. He also offered extensive information and examples about various types of tourniquets, first aid supplies, medications, and resources to build your preparations in these areas. The old adage, "like drinking from a fire hose" aptly applies here, and fortunately Greg provides a CD-ROM to each student packed with thousands of pages of information and resources that I've been diving into this past week and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of all the knowledge available.
Beyond being an excellent instructor who is engaging and interactive, Greg backs up all of his content with statistics, references, comparisons, examples, and demonstrations of actual items so that each student can come to their own conclusions... but usually, Greg's conclusions are already right on track. He also provides some graphic, but real images and situations that he uses to teach and also assess his students in their progress of understanding and applying the protocols, techniques, and supplies he's discussed and demonstrated in class.
This was an eight-hour course and we've already talked with Greg and Lauren of Active Response Training about scheduling this course again for next year and one of his other courses. You should check the schedule at Active Response Training and if they're in your area... we'd highly recommend... Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine instructed by Greg Ellifritz.
Note: If you're not already subscribed to Greg's posts over at Active Response Training... you should do so right now. The content and weekly Knowledge Dump every Friday will save you a lot of time sorting through the web-aloney that's out there and give you solid information and links to view.