Training and knowledge is key
Most of us would prefer to go through life thinking that all is peaceful and we’ll never be in a mass casualty situation. Unfortunately, disaster can strike at any time, any place. Whether it’s a hurricane, earthquake, tsunami or a made man incident like the Aurora, CO shooting, we need to be prepared for the worst.
Our unit motto in the Medical Rangers in “Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best”. As a State Guard unit, we are not trained to be aggressors. We don’t carry guns, we aren’t trained for combat. We focus on disaster relief. Some units do shelter management, some train for communications, Medical trains to help out in case of injuries, as well as to help the sick and injured in shelters.
Part of our training is for mass casualty exercises, such as Medical Response to Terrorist bombings. It’s not pretty to train for these scenarios, but it’s much better to be prepared and never have to use it than to have a situation like the Batman movie shooting and have untrained or unprepared people.
In my full time job with the guard, working in a law enforcement intelligence center, we get all sorts of crazy situations. We get lots of bomb threats. Thankfully, none of them has eventuated. We get lots of other bad situations, which we have to respond to. 99% of these never make the paper. People complain that law enforcement and big brother government are too over the top in their efforts to protect us. They think that just because there aren’t things on the news everyday that the government is making up perceived threats as an excuse to keep tabs on us. I can tell you, there are things going on everyday, it’s just not released to the news. Law enforcement is doing a great job at protecting people. That’s why we don’t have more mass casualties.Sometimes though, some whack job gets through the cracks and goes on a major killing spree. We still don’t know this guys motive, it’s too early yet. However, it’s coming out that he wasn’t right. Even his mother said as soon as she saw the news, she knew it was her son…
But, just as a timely reminder, in case you want to educate yourself, here’s a lesson in Active Shooters. You should probably keep a copy of it at work, just in case you ever are unlucky enough to have someone go postal. Read it over. It’s pretty simple, but it’s a timely reminder.
Do a basic first aid course. Keep some basic first aid supplies. I have a kit in the car, at home and at work. Keep your eyes open, and always trust your instincts.
Be safe out there.