Lifesaving Products and Training Featured at TREXPO West 2009

In this column, I'm writing about technology used to create the new, innovative tactical medicine products for law enforcement on display (and for sale) at TREXPO West 2009.

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TREXPO has a well deserved reputation throughout law enforcement for excellence and cutting-edge technology, tactics, and training. And this year's TREXPO West 2009 more than lived up to this reputation.

In my previous column, I wrote about tactics training from the Tactical Operations track of conferences at TREXPO West 2009. In this column, I'm writing about technology used to create the new, innovative tactical products for law enforcement on display (and for sale) at the expo.

Once again, I found myself amazed at the quality, quantity, and variety of outstanding products for LE, and especially for tactical professionals. I'm sure those with "dream sheets" had them filled up in no time.

Walking the TREXPO West expo aisles, checking out the many booths, and talking to vendors is an education in itself. With so many new and innovative products to choose from, I knew I had to narrow down my selection in order to fit it into this week's column.

To narrow my selections, I decided on going with a theme—tactical medicine—which also happens to be one of the conference tracks. I've noticed a continuing interest in, and increase in the number of vendors featuring, Tac Med, from products to training. And what better theme to write about than one that saves our lives?

I've selected five tactical medicine vendors to highlight and explain what they offer to the LE tactical community:

QuikClot (Z-Medica Corp.)

QuikClot hemostatic agents save lives by stopping severe bleeding quickly. Designed originally for the military, Quik Clot has saved many lives in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.

QuikClot proved so effective for the military, it's become a staple among almost all SWAT docs and medics. Originally only in granular form, the manufacturer Z-Medica has developed a variety of compresses and dressings for virtually every bleeding condition, ranging from major trauma bleeding to nosebleeds and everything in between.

Among Z-Medica's newest innovations is QuikClot Combat Gauze. The essential item in every medical kit, it's ultra flexible, conforms to any wound shape or size, and stays cool under pressure—the ultimate trauma wound stopping power.

Next is the new QuikClot Family of Products for Healthcare Professionals, of particular interest to SWAT Docs/Medics. First responders can choose from ACS+ for larger wounds, and QuikClot 1st Response for smaller wounds.

Of note, all of the below-listed medical kits contain QuikClot products as staples for stopping serious bleeding.

QuikClot is a "must have" for all LE (especially SWAT) and military alike.

At TREXPO West 2009, QuikClot also put on a Hemostatic Agent Train the Trainer Certification Course.

International School of Tactical Medicine

The California-based International School of Tactical Medicine (ISTM), under the able guidance of longtime SWAT doc Lawrence Heiskell, MD, offers a premier Tac Med training program and a growing list of Tac Med products.

ISTM Tac Med graduates include four Cleveland (Ohio) PD SWAT medics I hung out with last September during a SWAT medic training exercise. All four are very experienced, having worked city Fire and EMS, and some with combat experience in the military. All enthusiastically endorsed and recommended ISTM's Tac Med training program as some of the best training they've ever gone through.

At the ISTM TREXPO West booth, Dr.Heiskell enthusiastically described the benefits of ISTM's newest product, the Casualty Response Kit (CRK). Dr.Heiskell is especially proud of its high-quality, all-U.S. materials and its "Made in USA" label.

He describes CRK as "the best LE CRK available today". Designed from years of real-world experience, everything is where it's supposed to be—for easy access, in any conditions—and specifically designed for use in the LE tactical environment.

And Heiskell says ISTM doesn't just sell you a medical kit at their school, they teach you how to use it and why everything is where it is. ISTM offers the total package—from Tac-Med training to products.

Medical College of Georgia, Center of Operational Medicine

MCG COM's mission is to save lives through training, research, and clinical care. MCG Department of Emergency Medicine has long supported local LE training and operations. And the Office of Tactical Medicine oversees tactical and homeland security medical support training and education initiatives for LE agencies.

MCG COM course offerings include a multi-level range of NTOA partnered STORM (Specialized Tactics for Operational Rescue and Medicine) courses:

  • Non- medical operators
  • Tactical medics
  • Medical directors
  • Tactical commanders

This multi-level system provides LE agencies an all-encompassing approach to Tac Med operations, with all levels on the same page.

Combat Medical Systems

CMS offers a wide variety of emergency medical practitioners training and products that streamline combat casualty care and saves lives through effective medical solutions.

The CMS line of medical products includes Mojo Individual Treatment Medical Kits containing the required supplies for every combatant to perform self and buddy aid for life-threatening hemorrhaging.

Next is the CMS Team Bag designed for three to four people in tactical situations. It can be used alone, but is best used to augment individual medical kits.

The next level up is the CMS Squad Bag designed for a six- to nine-person squad to provide more complete buddy aid—including supplies for one to two seriously wounded casualties.

The CMS Assault Medic Bag provides the ability to perform definitive medical care for two to three seriously wounded casualties. It's suitable for urban operations.

Last is the CMS "Post Assault" Casualty Treatment Bag designed to "package" two casualties for evacuation, simple enough for first responders, and comprehensive enough for skilled medics to provide appropriate treatment.

Combat Medical Systems has a Medical Treatment Bag for every level of care in the field or on the street.

Solutions Group International

SGI is a U.S. Department of Stat Diplomatic Security Service provider, offering leading-edge tactical training to LE.

SGI's Combat Trauma Care (CTC) Course was developed by USAF Para-Rescue (PJs) and taught by a cadre of USAF PJs, doctors (former PJs), and SWAT team medics. Students train with and receive a SGI CTC Med-Kit.

At TREXPO West 2009 SGI conducted an introductory Combat Trauma Care Course designed for operating in a high-risk environment. Students received a personal CTC Blow-Out Trauma Kit for responding to medical emergencies under the worst conditions.

Real-World Application

The recent multi-officer casualties in Oakland and Pittsburgh serve to reinforce the growing need for all of LE to take emergency medicine in the field and on the street seriously. We need to train, prepare, and equip for the possibility of needing to save the life of our partner, or ourselves.

SWAT, especially SWAT medics and docs, have an even higher need to stay at the razor-sharp cutting edge of the latest innovations in Tac Med procedures and equipment. Tac Med has repeatedly proven its life-saving value to SWAT teams across the nation.

If the Oakland and Pittsburgh tragedies are any indicator of what's coming, Tac Med's role will become even more critical in the future.

About the Author
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SWAT Sergeant (Ret.)
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