[The recent Winter Issue of Two More Chains featured Brian Kliesen in the “One of Our Own” section that focused on Brian’s “Stop the Bleed” training efforts. Brian also discussed and had insights and recommendations regarding first aid kits. This blog by Brian, who is the Supervisor of Santa Fe Helitack and the EMS Coordinator on the Santa Fe National Forest, shares follow-up information and options for how folks can improve and update their medical kits.]
By Brian Kliesen
After the “One of Our Own” article appeared in Two More Chains, I have been getting a lot of emails and calls for more information on building first aid / small trauma kits or a vendor that is making them.
Here’s an important update. There are a lot of kits out there, particularly the tactical “stop the bleed kits”. These are either quite expensive or are in excess of our needs or training. However, I did find a vendor that is building virtually the same small trauma kit that I was piecing together (which was described in Two More Chains). This vendor has created a special web page with individual and bulk pricing: https://luminaryglobal.com/pages/usda-forest-service-bleeding-control-kits. The kit comes in a vacuum sealed package, so it would be easy to put in your pack or line gear.
I have been using GSAxcess to obtain pouches for the kits, or purchasing pouches off of GSAadvantage if you needed a stand-alone compartment that could be attached to a belt or pack.
I am not endorsing their product, merely letting you know that this is an option that is available. The less expensive version of the kit has a trauma pad, the other kits have an emergency dressing. So, depending on your training or budget, there are options. The kits also come in three sizes. In addition, there is another North American Rescue version that is more expensive but also has other items.
The larger NAR CCR-Squad trauma kit that we are using on the Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe national forests is also available on GSA. However, I contacted North American Rescue and had them remove the chest decompression needles, which made the kit a bit cheaper and it lines up with our scope of practice. To get this kit you have to order direct from the manufacturer.
Feel free to share this information far and wide. We are starting to get traction on improving our medical kits, training and procedures. I also recently received a call from some folks in Boise (NWCG/USFS) who want to upgrade the 10-person kit to make it useful and affordable. We may therefore be seeing a new kit, or something similar, in the not too distant future.
If you have any questions on these topics, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.