Trauma Medicine for CCW


Article submitted by Mark Hatfield

Trauma Medicine for CCW


Being fortunate enough to be able to attend several classes this fall, the next was this which combined emergency medical response with shooting.  It is unusual in that it is so well designed as to be recognized as continuing education credits for both Law Enforcement Officers and Emergency Medical Technicians.  It can even be used as the required training for permits for concealed carry of handguns.  However it is not a basic introduction to shooting.


This class is from Suarez International, taught by Doctor John Meade, assisted by Don Robison.  Dr. Meade is a specialist in trauma medicine, that is, the emergency room stuff regarding injuries.  Further, he is a reserve law enforcement officer and on a S.W.A.T. team.  He also works with the U.S. military.  His background and experience is substantial.


Decades ago, while in college I was required to take a basic first aid class.  Liked it so much that I took more advanced programs and became an instructor of same.  Later, having been ‘unvoluntarily’ separated from my primary employment, I enlisted in the Navy and entered the Hospital Corps, was E.M.T. certified, and served both in a hospital and ‘in the field’ with the Marines.  I liked both, but the latter I enjoyed so much that I extended my assignment with those Jarheads and even continued to provide services for them after I had ‘returned’ to a Navy unit from a Marine unit.  (Hey, I earned the right to call them that).


Not as altruistic as I might once have been, but I was getting inklings that my knowledge of emergency medical responses was out of date.  While I’m not working in that field, I have responded several times when something happened and I just happened to be right there.  And, though folks don’t like to acknowledge it or even think about it, stuff happens.   Death which could have been prevented, can happen even before some helpful person gets done calling for help on their cell phone.


It was a good thing I went.


Important things I had been taught long ago have changed.  Not just techniques, but concepts.  I learned that they were wrong, had always been wrong, and why they were wrong. (And why they had been taught that way in the past).  I learned the new versions.   Fast, simple, effective.  BUT, this was not just about how to help others, it was also about how to do these techniques ON YOURSELF as well.  You know, it just ain’t the same as doing it on someone else.


Mind you, the techniques taught are not about dealing with heart attacks, heat exhaustion, poisonings, etc., but about dealing with the injuries likely to occur from violent attacks.  (If you think about it, similar injuries could occur in the kitchen, workshop, garage, shooting range, etc.).


The shooting portion of the class was a continuation of that taught in the class ‘Close Range Gunfighting’.  It was more of ‘what happens next’.  Some of the shooting using protective gear and specialized guns which use plastic pellets, allowed each student to test and prove for themselves that the techniques taught previously, about shooting and not getting shot, actually worked.  There were also a number of scenarios where students, singly or in pairs, had to respond to one or more criminal aggressors.


But then after a shooting, what happens, can you take care of your spouse, your friend, the innocent bystander, yourself, if shot or stabbed?  Can you do this and still be able to respond to further attacks of deadly force if it occurs again while you are helping someone else or you are impaired?


That’s what this class was about.


No high falluting stuff.  It’s direct simple basic stuff designed so it can be learned by a person with even no medical background of any type.


I had reservations about going or not going, after all, the most basic stuff doesn’t change does it.  Well, my eyes were opened.  Designed for the average person, you don’t have to be intending to become a ‘medic’ or an E.M.T. for this class to be useful.  The life you save could be your own or that of a loved one.  Every serious shooter should take this course.  Glad I did.


Authors note:  Readers of Loose Rounds will note that I have written on three S.I. classes.  I am not in any way affiliated with them, did not get free classes or reduced rates or any other consideration.  My time, finances, and circumstances just all happened to work out. I have studied with some well known instructors, quite different from the S.I. group, but not recently.  Luckily, there so far have been no firearms instructors with whom I was displeased.  This does not mean that I never disagreed with anything taught, nor have I adopted and used every technique I was shown, or every recommendation.  I don’t recall every having been taught anything which was just plain wrong, but not everything I learned was best for me.  Attend classes with an open mind and try new things.  Sometimes a student may learn a new thing which is ‘better’ but the previous method is so ingrained that it is better not to change.  Sometimes one should change.  The best instructors I have known were continually adapting, revising, and updating their knowledge and methods.




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