Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Orlando, Tel Aviv, Turkey … Much has been written about the ‘First Responders’ to a critical incident. These include the Police, Fire and EMS professionals whose job it is to keep us safe 24/7/365. They perform often heroic acts in the course of their daily business and quite often make the ultimate sacrifice. But as important as they are, first responders are not the first on the scene. There is another group that goes largely unnoticed during these critical events. They are the ‘immediate responders’.
Immediate responder is a relatively new term that was coined after the Boston Marathon Bombing. The two explosions killed 3 civilians and injured an estimated 264 others leaving the medical specialists (EMS and hospitals) quickly overwhelmed, as they were in the previous attacks in Paris where 130 people were killed and another 368 injured, and Orlando with 49 dead and 53 injured.
In today’s world, we are basically on our own regarding our personal protection. The police will get there … eventually. Even with the most rapid response time, there will still be a lag in getting help. According the Independent Journal Review, “As of 2013, the reported national average for police response time was 11 minutes.” Other sources range the times from under 5 minutes to more than a day!
The point of the above is to make you think. Think about you being in that situation or worse, one of your loved ones. Would you want there to be any delay in getting them the help they need? This is where the immediate responder manner of thinking becomes important. Having the skills, equipment and proper mind-set to adequately assess and aggressively manage a violent and/or critical situation is paramount. Statistics have shown that most active shooter scenarios are over within the first three minutes and until the first responders arrive, those on the scene would still be on their own for the first few minutes.
What Should We Prepare For?
We still face the potential to have to deal with armed robberies and assaults. However, with the increase of active shooter and home grown, radicalized terrorist incidents, we are facing a new and different kind of threat. The potential for serious injury or death is magnified many times over. The possibility of debilitating trauma from gunshots or blast injuries is likely and the effect devastating.
As the likelihood of an event increases, so does the threat level. Likewise, as the impact increases, the threat level does as well. When considering the chances of an incident occurring, it is prudent to determine the potential impact an attack/event (fire, etc.) of any type may have. Having the requisite skills to either render aid, subdue/kill the attacker(s) or both, are key to your personal security and safety and that of your family. The focus of your preparation should be that of saving your life and those of your loved ones.
What Do We Need?
There is an old saying that goes, “If it’s shiny, flat black, has Velcro, camouflage or made of ‘ballistic nylon’, someone will buy it.” I can tell you this is almost gospel in the self-defense/shooting community. People will look for and buy any ‘widget’ they believe will make them a better shot. Truth be told, all that money would be better spent on ammunition and time practicing.
As mentioned, there are some skills necessary needed to be an effective immediate responder. If you go armed (carry a gun), you need to get solid, professional training on how to use it and what your legal restrictions may be. Merely having a gun and a permit to carry in no way equates with being able to adequately use it in a critical situation.
📷Equipment is also a consideration as it will help insure you carry all the time. If you choose a poorly designed holster or one that doesn’t fit your body, you won’t wear it. If you don’t wear it, you won’t have it when you need it. Holsters, belts, and spare ammunition holders must all be carefully considered.
Like firearms, the choice of a knife is often a matter of personal preference. Some like larger blades while others prefer smaller. Some like tanto points, other clip or spear points. Whatever you choose, be sure it’s a quality blade. Going cheap is not recommended when you’re purchasing life-saving equipment.
Some other means of protection is also recommended. Generally a less-lethal option such as pepper spray is a good choice. Stun guns and the like are not recommended for a variety of reasons. Collapsible batons, ‘tactical’ pens, a Kubotan©, Munio© or a small light are also good choices.
One of the least considered but most important skills is first aid. Not Band-Aid/Boo Boo first aid but rather the skills needed to treat ballistic (gunshot) and blast injuries. Specific training and the proper supplies can go a long way toward saving lives. A simple kit with a tourniquet and trauma dressing (i.e. IBD) would be a good start. There are several kits available that contain the necessary resources needed in compact size (see http://reckit.care/).
Bottom line is, the three things besides a gun you should carry daily are:
1. Good Folding Knife – A fixed-blade knife for self-defense is best because no matter how much you practice, your chances of getting a folder knife open when you’re ambushed or locked up in a clinch is next to zero. However, many states consider fixed-blade knives “illegal” so carrying a legal folder as a backup is probably smart
2. Mini-Flashlight - Besides the knife, a mini ‘tactical’ (i.e. small, bright) flashlight gets the most usage on a daily basis. If you’re in a parking lot at night, you can always pull it out and shine it around on your way to your vehicle. In addition, LED lights are generally blindingly bright and many allow you to focus the beam from wide to tight. Some have a strobe feature for disorienting as well.
3. Tactical Pen – Unobtrusive and extremely effective.
What Do We Need To Do NOW?
Initially, you need to determine if you are willing to make the lifestyle changes necessary to be an armed ‘Immediate responder’. What does that mean? It means you have to be prepared to make those changes that will keep you ahead of the curve. Such as:
· Be armed all the time
· Purchase reliable equipment
· Get professional training
· Learn and understand the legal issues and use of force
· Develop and practice your personal protection plan
· Develop the proper mind-set
What Can G-TAC Offer?
We conduct all levels of training to include:
First Shots (entry level handgun safety and marksmanship)
Fundamental Concealed Carry
Intermediate/Advanced Concealed Carry
Integrated Concealed Carry
Edged Weapon Training
BE SAFE • BE EFFECTIVE • BE READY