In runners’ tent and ER, a rush to save limbs — and lives

Video Repost from
Erin Burnett Out Front|Added on April 15, 2013
Chris Cuomo talks to first responders at the scene of the terror attack at the Boston Marathon.

Good morning CMK readers,

The article below details the heroic efforts of trained medical personnel, lay responders, ED staff, and law enforcement officers who, without warning, became instant caregivers to over 170 people injured during the final hours of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  There are heroes all around us at all times.

In Service,
Dee Williams

Boston First Responder Gallery 1

Article Repost from
In runners’ tent and ER, a rush to save limbs — and lives

By Wayne Drash, CNN
updated 5:54 AM EDT, Tue April 23, 2013

The instant Jim Asaiante heard the first explosion, he flashed back to Iraq.  “That was an IED,” he said to no one in particular.  The former Army nurse fought the urge to rush toward the wounded.  He knew there would be a second blast.  Tending to soldiers blown up by roadside bombs had taught him that. read more

Benefit of Tourniquet Highlighted in Boston Explosions


Hello Everyone:

Once again, tourniquets are saving lives. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the victims and families of the Boston Marathon Bombings. Take a look at this post from

To view tourniquet information visit our website at

MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer |      Thursday, April 18, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, rescuers turned to an age-old medical device to save lives — the tourniquet…read more

In Service,
Dee Williams

CMK Salutes Trooper Adam Galton – An “Everyday Hero”

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Trooper Adam Galton of the Virginia State Police.  I have known Adam for a couple of years now and have been overwhelmingly impressed with his efforts as he champions the causes of tactical medical training and proper medical kits for law enforcement officers in his region.  I feel that his experience and foresight are valuable to the direction of our nation’s law enforcement community.  Trooper Galton’s perspective gives me a new found appreciation for the circumstances law enforcement officers face daily and a heightened awareness that we the public must offer increased respect and support. 

Trooper Galton, how long have you been with the department, what is your role, and what made you want to choose law enforcement as a career?
I’ve been with the Virginia State Police for ten years now.  This is a second career for me.  I graduated VMI and decided to find my fortune and fame as a financial advisor.  After years behind a desk and lacking a real satisfaction of knowing that I was doing something important, I dipped my toes into law enforcement and liked it!  I joined the ranks of our specialty units very early on.   I’ve been a state diver for all most 9 years, a tactical team operator for over 6 years, firearms instructor, general instructor, and now the tactical emergency medical support coordinator for our TEMS program.

What medical credentials do you currently hold?
NREMT-P with all of the usual specialties.  I’m an EMT Instructor.   I’ve attended numerous tactical medic courses and have started our own internal course.  I also hope to hold our first in-house EMT course. I’m close to adding a degree in Emergency Medical Services to my record.

What positive changes in US law enforcement regarding medical kits and equipment have you seen in recent years, and what changes do you hope to see on the horizon?
In my opinion law enforcement has been behind the curve in tactical medicine in both supplying medical support to their missions as well as supplying self-aid/buddy-aid kits to their officers.  Whether it is what we are learning from overseas or domestically, I think law enforcement agencies have finally come to the realization that as a whole we are woefully unprepared for the level of violence that we are encountering.   Instead of the small first aid kits, agencies are equipping their members with “self-aid/buddy-aid” (SABA) kits that incorporate hemostatic agents, tourniquets, compression bandages, chest seals, and airway adjuncts.  I see officers being taught how to use this equipment on themselves and their fellow officers.   There are many examples from around the country where SABA kits have saved lives on incidents that were not yet declared “scene safe”.   I’ve seen the development or the evolution of what were military designed medical kits and equipment redesigned for civilian or paramilitary applications, like law enforcement.  I greatly advocate standardization in equipment, supplies, and training.   I would like to see every police officer have a durable kit, one that is in a standard place in the patrol vehicle, well marked, and easily accessible.  We are well beyond first aid training, we need our officers to understand the basics of immediate hemorrhage control and have the proper equipment, accessible, to get the job done.  Simple, standardized, and policy.

You and I have spoken before, and I’m telling you – your passions for law enforcement and medicine are infectious (no pun intended).  Why do you love it so much? 
Frankly, I have the best job around, I’m an armed medic with police powers.   It wasn’t until I started providing tactical medic support did I realize how much it was needed.  Though the Virginia EMS system is very supportive and efficient, a lot of our police missions involve limited EMS support and missions in the austere environment.  Whether it was a violent public protest, a mountain track of an armed felon, an arrest warrant tactical team call, or a maritime hazard device search, a lot of our missions are in relatively hot zones where immediate medical support is not readily available.  As my experiences increased,  I started to become more and more protective over my fellow officers.  I started to see the “close calls” increase.  I continued to see the rise in violent encounters.  I saw the lack of respect that the citizens show law enforcement and worry about whether someone will come to the aid of the lonely Trooper hurt on the side of some rural highway.   I realized that tactical medicine was not replacing solid EMS support, but it was a way to organize, supplement, and educate our people in how to be more aware of the risks and how to help themselves until they can get definitive medical support.  Over the years I’ve attended wonderful courses like CONTOMS and TMI where the skills learned overseas were taught to law enforcement.  I’ve attended conferences like SOMA ( and realized how strong the tactical and special ops medical community was, how supportive they were of each other and how they shared that passion and sincere desire to “protect the protectors”.

How have you been able to positively influence your department in regards to improving tactical medicine?
I love VSP.  We have some great people.  Our divers are trained by probably one of the best diver’s in the world.  Our tactical teams are some of the busiest in the nation.   I’m blessed that I’ve been able to put myself in the position, because of my work with various specialties and my supervisor’s support, to be able to integrate tactical medic support, education, medical threat assessments, and supplies into almost every facet of our various missions.  Of course I have a lot more to do, especially in a zero dollar budget climate, but I’m determined to see a standardized level of medical support, whether it involves just a SABA kit, or the deployment of a medic, available to every mission.  We have our own agency number through our state’s office of EMS.  We have and continue to make friends within this community.   There is so much that I want to do.  I want VSP to be a leader in law enforcement based tactical medicine.  The one thing that medical support achieves is it is the only type of specialty that can absolutely link all of the other departments together, creating a much needed synergy.

Who influenced you to become so passionate about law enforcement and tactical medicine?
It isn’t any one person, but a culmination of events, tragedies, and experiences.   In so many cases our troopers, whether on the road or on a specialty call, have to do so much with so little.  Frankly, we’ve generally been lucky.  Whether it is a diver looking for a body, a tactical team deploying for a barricade, a K-9 officer on a track, or even a road trooper doing his job; I’ve realized that we CAN supply a very cost effective and efficient support element that would help protect them.  This is what is satisfying and what is pushing me to grow, however slowly, our much needed program.

Are there any cases or incidents that you can share where having the proper medical kit saved your life or the life of a civilian or colleague? 
Our program is still very young, and our equipment and supplies still very limited.  I have personally used our hemostatic agents and compression bandages on incidents.  Some of the troopers that I’ve trained have done the same thing.   I wish I could be more specific, but so many of these incidents blur together.  We are still in our infancy in having the appropriate SABA kits out in the field, but the basic kits that we’ve been slowly supplying our tactical team operators have come into use in wrapping lacerations and GSW’s.   I don’t want my limited answer to diminish in anyway how important it is for an officer, team, and agency to have SABA kits.  I’m not saying to overdo it, just the very important basics: hemostatic agents, compression bandages, tourniquets, self sticking  bandages/wraps, chest seals/occulusive dressings, NPA, shears, gloves, and basic “boo-boo” type bandages.  Keep it simple, and educate.

What hurdles are the most significant for departments looking to improve officer medical kits and what advice can you share with them?
Cost and standardization.   A typical SABA kit runs around a $100.  Let’s face it, the days of unlimited funds are long gone.   I would encourage agencies to be creative in supplying these kits.  Encourage new officers to buy their own, and maybe design some incentive program to encourage that.  I see people go out and buy the next best gadget for their vest or belt, but yet wont spend a dime on their own SABA kit.   It is easy to say that a department should have these, but realistically as cash strapped as agencies are it is difficult to ask too much more of them.  I do feel that the department should standardize what they recommend an officer have in the SABA kit.  I encourage these agencies to have their tactical medics train the officers in their usage.   There are lots of ideas on funding SABA kits.  Your local COOPS, your local civic clubs, corporations, hospital/doctor organizations, all would consider such a plea.   Your not asking for bullets, your asking for life saving kits…great PR for anyone!

Is there anything I have not asked that you would like to address?
I would like to see national standardization of TEMS protocols, education, and recertification requirements.   I would like to see someone carefully audit and control the military medical supplies and equipment coming back from overseas or what is sitting in federal warehouse and get this material out to the local, county, and state law enforcement agencies.  I’ve visited and seen a lot of perishable medical supplies (like hemostatic agents) that are wasting away or being sold to low bidder resellers.   Our officers need that equipment but have limited to no access to it.

I see the violent nature of our times only getting worse.  I see the terrorists taking the war to us.  I see the use of explosive devices coming to our shores.   I see public safety targeted.  It would not take a lot to overwhelm our resources.  I see incidents that require law enforcement support that could easily become siege like.  It would be in the best interest to train and equip our law enforcement officers with the appropriate supplies and equipment to aid in their own emergent care as well as the care of their partners and the public they have sworn to protect.   Keep it simple, efficient, and standardized.

As always, follow our posts and receive a $3 credit at

In Service,
Dee Williams

Severe Weather: Now is the Time to Make That Med Kit

Those of us who work at CMK/PerSys Medical ( live in Texas. I would say “The Great State of Texas”, but I don’t want to make the rest of you jealous. As great as our state is, we definitely experience our fair share of severe weather. Here in the immediate Houston vicinity we experience severe heat (our record high in 2012 was 105°F/40.6°C on June 26), hurricanes (I’m sure you are all familiar with Katrina, Rita, Ike, etc), drought (just ask the folks in the Texas hill country who lost their homes two summers ago), flooding (imagine entire neighborhoods with yards lined with rolled wet carpeting), and more. Needless to say, we take severe weather preparedness seriously. We especially take medical preparedness for severe weather seriously. Thankfully, Severe Weather Awareness Week has been established to help us all remember to be prepared for the inevitable.

Severe Weather Awareness Week is observed on varying dates depending on state of residence. Here in Texas we observe this potentially lifesaving week from March 3-9 in 2013. To find the week of observance for your state visit the National Weather Center’s website at

Why is it important to provide medical treatment when possible before EMS arrives? Because…time counts. Injuries due to severe weather will occur. However, we want to help you reduce the chance of an injury becoming more severe or worse – becoming a fatality. That means you must be prepared to address both minor and major injuries for people and pets of all ages before medical professionals arrive on scene. EMS response times are a hot button topic nationally and response times vary by state, city, service, and city-vs-rural locals. The ideal response time is generally eight minutes (rarely achieved). Fifteen to twenty minutes is more common for city dwellers, and for those in outlying rural areas response times can be even longer. So, if you or a loved one sustains a severe extremity bleed, how long do you have before the threat of death? Not long at all. What if a loved one has gone into cardiac arrest? Do you have the necessary tools to keep them alive until EMS arrives?

According to the National Weather Service, in 2011 the US suffered 1,096 fatalities and 8,830 injuries due to severe weather including tornadoes, heat, floods, wind, lightening, and more. The bulk of those numbers are from tornadoes (553 fatalities and 5,483 injuries in 2011) and heat (206 fatalities and 2,401 injuries in 2011). Tornado winds can cause objects to become airborne, increasing the risk of penetrating trauma. Many tornado related injuries occur after the threat is gone as citizens walk into damaged buildings, collapsed structures, or make rescue attempts. Severe heat causes droughts that can lead to fire related injuries, severe sun burn, and dehydration. Being medically prepared is a must.

You have the ability to build a comprehensive medical kit that can address a variety of issues without breaking the bank. For a basic home kit, here are my suggestions.

Basic Kit

  • Personal Protection – nitrile gloves, CPR shield, etc
  • An Emergency Bandage® to stop severe bleeding
  • A tourniquet to stop bleeding in cases of severe extremity bleeding or amputations
  • A bag that can securely hold all contents with a little room to add more

If you have more dollars to spend, here is my suggestion for an advanced kit.

Advanced Kit

  • Personal Protection – nitrile gloves, CPR shield, etc
  • An Emergency Bandage® to stop severe bleeding
  • A tourniquet to stop bleeding in cases of severe extremity bleeding or amputations
  • A hemostatic agent such as QuikClot® to accelerate clotting in severe bleeding wounds
  • Gauze and medical or duct tape
  • Splints
  • Chest Seals
  • Blizzard Foil Blanket™ for cold weather care (hypothermia prevention)
  • Burn relief gel and dressings
  • Alcohol and hydrogen peroxide for wound cleaning
  • Medic shears or scissors
  • LED Flashlight
  • A bag that can securely hold all contents with a little room to add more

Once you have the physical tools needed to treat injuries, what will you do with them? Knowledge and training result in confident action during an emergency. If you have not taken a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) class or a BLS (basic life support) class, now is the time. If you live in the Houston area visit to take a class from our experienced staff. Visit to locate a class near you if you are outside of the Houston area. If it has been a few years since you have taken a class, you should update your skills because CPR has changed (see the 2010 American Heart Association CPR change highlights at Lastly, don’t forget to train children in CPR and basic first aid. They absorb information very well and can potentially save the life of another child or adult in the home.

If you have questions or comments feel free to give me a call at 888-737-7978 x 246 or email me at Don’t forget to follow our blog. First time followers receive a $3 credit at

In Service,
Dee Williams




Trauma Medical Kit

The kit is housed in the Snugpak, Response Pak and it’s multifunctional carry case also doubles as a fanny pack that has a multitude of hidden internal storage pockets.  It has become a favorite among the military as a great med bag.  Inside the Response Pak you will find an array of life saving medical equipment that is currently distributed by PerSys Medical in the U.S. and foreign military services.

Build A Kit | Click Here