Blood oozes out of the open wound, trailing down his hand and dripping onto the floor. He holds his hand up in the air and follows me to my shooting stall. I quickly reach for the 5.11 Tactical backpack that serves as my range bag, unzipping the front most pocket, revealing a bright red, hard case with a cross emblem emblazoned on the front – my first aid kit. Opening the case, I retrieve a bandage and quickly apply it to the wound, attempting to stop the bleeding. It’s a minor injury, a slide bite courtesy of a Springfield XD. My patient will live with a fresh band-aid applied to the web of his hand and a lesson on awareness when it comes to gun grip.
The ability to treat this minor yet annoying consequence of shooting comes courtesy of my own first aid training, an endeavor I am not only passionate about but for which I advocate. As a Basic Life Support Instructor, I impart my knowledge of CPR and First Aid for the American Heart Association to just about any one, gun owners included, who will listen; however, gun owners don’t always seem to grasp the importance of first aid training or the role it plays in gun ownership.
Dr. Joe Alton alongside his wife Amy Alton, ARNP, know a thing or two about the importance of medical training and how quickly a normal day can turn into tragedy. Just 10 minutes from them on February 14, 2018, a gunman stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17. The events sent the nation reeling and reinforced for the Altons why they advocate so strongly for first aid training. Appearing at SHOT Show showcasing first aid books and gear with their medically focused Doom and Bloom LLC, the Altons said that medical training is relevant for every civilian.