by Jason J. Brown - Wednesday, July 19, 2017
The great outdoors is an apt description – the U.S. alone has 2.3 billion acres of land, with only about 5 percent of that land considered developed. This provides hundreds of millions of square miles of space for outdoorsmen to hunt, fish, hike, camp and explore, taking in the breathtaking beauty and harvesting the earth that makes up our great nation.
However, in all that natural majesty and remoteness, dangers and threats lurk in uncertainty, and the possibility that an accident could occur miles from the nearest healthcare provider. Accidents can and do happen, and in medical crises, time is of the absolute essence -- each second that passes could make the difference between life and death.
Whether hunting in the forests and mountains, fishing in remote lakes and rivers, or hiking into rugged terrain, having medical training that could help save a life should be one of the first and more important thing outdoor enthusiasts acquire when planning their excursion.
Physical injuries are the leading cause of death in the United States for those between the ages of 1 and 44, and there is no national effort to address that. Many of those deaths could be prevented with training and the proper use of commercially available medical gear.
A leader in outdoor recreation, safety and training, NRA Outdoors understands this need and has developed the Emergency Casualty Care Course, a dynamic two-day course designed and taught by veteran special operations medics. This exciting hands-on course equips students with the knowledge, skills and equipment needed to take immediate action and save lives in traumatic and other medical emergencies.
Led by veteran U.S. Army Green Berets Gary Melton and Tyr Symank and veteran U.S. Navy SEAL Bill Harris, students learn Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care history, non-traumatic emergency treatment, and Trauma Hemorrhage Control.
“Most people that carry or have firearms for protection do so with the understanding that emergency services aren’t able to show up in time. That same principle applies to trauma related injuries as well,” Melton explained. “Hunting, fishing, camping, and hiking are all activities that all too often result in life-threatening injuries with emergency services being hours away. This leads to many preventable deaths every year.”
Non-traumatic medical injury response skills taught include recognition and treatment of common medical emergencies, including cardiac arrest, CPR, choking and airway obstruction, strokes, and diabetic emergencies. Particularly helpful for being deep in remote territory, student will also learn to treat environmental injuries, such as heat, cold and altitude-related conditions.
Traumatic injury training includes introduction and use of tourniquets, wound-packing techniques, airway management, respiratory evacuation, and how to perform drags and carries.
These skills aren’t just demonstrated and repeated. The staff creates realistic crisis scenarios in which students must react, respond and apply what they’ve learned under pressure in an environment that simulates a real injury, just like they’d encounter in a real emergency.
“It really is all about being prepared to act and understanding that most injury related deaths can be prevented. This two-day course provides the best evidence-based, life-saving techniques and strategies developed on the battlefield for providing emergency trauma care,” Melton said. “These are the same life-saving techniques taught to special operations units, but this course tailors those lessons learned around civilian emergency situations.”
While the course is intense, Melton said participants will have a great time, resulting in an experience they will never forget.
“While the subject matter is serious our instructors deliver it in a manner that is fun, interactive, and entertaining. Every person will learn techniques and principles that if the need arises will give them the best chances of saving the life of someone injured,” Melton said. “Every client leaves with a fully-stocked Individual First Aid Kit. This kit was specially designed inside and out for this course and by our experienced cadre. When developing this kit they wanted to make sure each person had the best life-saving products available while still being able to access those items quickly.”
Every student that completes the course receives two nationally recognized certifications – a CPR and AED certification, and a First Care Provider certification. The course contains approximately 20 spots per class, and the student-instructor ratio is capped at one instructor to every five students to ensure each client receives the individual attention and guidance they need to leave fully confident in the new skills and abilities.
“This course is a must for anyone that is considering carrying a firearm. Even just for everyday precautions, you and your family should be prepared for any medical emergencies that may occur,” Melton said. “When someone has only a few minutes to live and help is far away, you need to know what to do sustain life until that help arrives. This training saves lives, and that life could very well be yours or someone you love. “