Reminder: First Aid Gear Is Essential For EDC

I'm not going to pretend to be a first aid expert. We've got Brian for that and he's already covered a good amount of first aid stuff for us. I learned some stuff while in the Marines, but I have to admit, being married to a Registered Nurse has kind of spoiled me.

She has been a first responder to many incidents. There have been a couple that stand out in my mind, and we'll get to a few of those in a moment. But for now, let me tell you a story about the time I went to the range with an old man who is my step dad.

He just bought a new gun. I won't say which one because he bought it against my will even though I work for the industry and know which brands are better than others. It's his choice, and if he's happy, I'll do my best to be happy for him.

Anyway, we went to the range and I did my best to teach him how to grip the gun. Every time I turned away he changed back to his standard way of holding the gun with his strong hand, and grabbing his strong hand wrist with his weak hand. I have no idea who taught him to do this, but the thumbs forward grip just wasn't something he was willing to change to.

That is, until the slide caught the web of his left hand and he bled profusely all over the place. Now, he is a trained EMT and I'm an advocate of having a first aid kit. Neither one of us had anything to stop the bleeding except for the rag I use to check my oil. Because he's on all sorts of meds that thin his blood this was a recipe for disaster.

All is well that ends well, and everything was fine but I learned an important lesson that day. I can't remember exactly why I didn't have my medical kit, maybe it's because it was in a different range bag or something. I can't remember. What I do remember is that I needed it and didn't have it.

Moving on from that experience, is my wife who is a nurse. She is a first responder. She loves to help people. Every single time we see an accident on the side of the road we stop and she gets out to help. It's who she is and I don't fight with her on it.

We've seen some mangled people together. It's romantic, actually, because we remember these things together. Of course, when we've got the kids with us, she goes and I stay in the car.

One time when we were living in Delaware before we were married with children, we saw a really bad accident and the guy was bleeding out. She had to stop the bleeding immediately to save his life but didn't have any gloves.

Suffice it to say that we have gloves on us now, as well as other medical gear just in case. You never know what could happen. Another time we were a few cars behind a group of motorcycles and one of them lost his balance and hit the center median. I had the kids with me this time so I stayed in the car as she rushed to his aid.

Another time an older person had a seizure while driving and had a head on collision with a person in a big diesel truck. The guy in the truck was okay, but the epileptic not so much.

Even if you're never a first responder to strangers on the side of the road, it's imperative you have first aid gear in case you need it. Or, a loved one needs it. You just never know. If you weren't aware, we actually started selling medical gear in our store not too long ago. You can take a look at our first aid equipment, here.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. mitche on August 24, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Many moons ago, 1977 to be specific, I was driving home from dinner in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. It was a rural road, and I came across a car off the road, on its left side, with it’s lights on. I stopped and a teenage girl was hanging from her seatbelt in the front passenger seat. The driver and another passenger (also teenage girls) had both left her there to get help. She had mild injuries, but my main concerns were she couldn’t feel her feet and was going into shock. It was a cool May evening and I had nothing with me except my t-shirt to keep her warm. No first aid kit either. I’d had the ARC Advanced First Aid course a couple years before, but frankly, I was unprepared and I really didn’t know what to do. Eventually more cars came by and I got some help and a blanket, but could do little except stay with her and comfort her during the 90 minutes or so it took an ambulance to get there. To my shame, I didn’t follow up and I don’t know if she ended up paralyzed or not.

    I swore that would never happen to me again and within the year I was an EMT on a volunteer rescue squad in Delta Junction, Alaska. I was only on the rescue squad 1 year, but was an EMT for 18 years, much of the time a member of the Ski Patrol. Since then I’ve always carried a blanket, a sleeping bag, and my Ski Patrol belt in my vehicle.

    It paid off a few years later when I was on a church bus at a rest stop when a truck went off the road near by at a pass in Colorado and the driver was ejected and thrown about 50’ from the truck. I knew what to do and we stabilized him and held him for 2 hours in the snow until a helicopter came and got him. He survived and recovered completely. His back was broken but holding him immobile for that 2 hours kept him from severing his spinal cord.

    Last year I took a gunshot trauma class from two guys who were first responders to the Las Vegas massacre, and realized I was again not as prepared as I should be. Since then I’ve started carrying a trauma kit in my range bag, one in my bedroom, a couple of them in my truck, and I’ve recently added an ankle holster with a tourniquet, pressure bandage and gloves whenever I’m carrying. Plus extra tourniquets and pressure bandages in my truck and house.

    One thing I learned from those guys was be prepared to improvise. They went through every tourniquet they had in a few minutes and had to create a LOT of improvised tourniquets that night.

    Thanks for the article! I hope lots of folks read it and get prepared to render aid if needed. I’ve come to believe this is just as important as being ready to defend ourselves and our loved ones!

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