Mass Shooting

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Please note. If you came here from Facebook and saw a picture of a revolver, the revolver was not part of the post. The new blogging platform requires a “Featured Image” or Facebook will pick one at random from the images stored on my blog. I’ve changed the image and hopefully FB will update it.

Or, as the media prefers to call the, “Active Shooters” seem to be far more prevalent than they used to be. That might be, but it’s more likely to be that the media overplays them for maximum effect.

First, let me discuss a few of the things floating around in the mediasphere.

No, there have not been “Eighteen School Shootings” since the beginning of the year. The definition of “School Shooting” seems elastic, to say the least.

No, the most and deadliest mass shootings have not occurred in the United States. In fact, nations with very strict gun control have a higher fatality and occurrence rate.

No, banning “Assault Rifles” won’t solve this problem.

Yes, the FBI seems to have screwed up, but exactly how isn’t really clear. No, the FBI Director shouldn’t step down. Keep in mind that if the FBI had arrested or even entered the shooter’s name into the NICS system, there would be people crying out that he was being racially profiled. Also, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t exactly covered itself with glory.

The FBI needs to do a better job following up and worry less (not at all) about being racially insensitive.

No, we shouldn’t “make it easier” to strip people of their Second Amendment Rights in the name of public safety. The process in place now is fine, it’s the application that is failing. Anyone adjudicated too dangerous to be out in public with weapons should be committed to a mental health in patient facility. The problem being  that there aren’t enough of those. We need more mental health beds in either private or state run psychiatric hospitals.

Oh, there weren’t thousands of people protesting in Florida this weekend. How do I know? Because when “thousands” of people are protesting, the photographers take long distance shots to show the size of the crowd. They don’t do close ups of maybe thirty people holding up signs. Yet, I haven’t seen anything other than close shots.

Finally, this is not the fault of the NRA, the President, or me. Or any other gun owners except for the guy who did the shooting.

Speaking of which, the murderer was a classic “Rampage Shooter” in that he had a specific target area, maybe specific targets, and didn’t much care about killing people who just happened to be at the scene. He’s a bit unusual in that rampage shooters usually kill themselves or surrender when law enforcement, or any armed person, confronts them.

The killer certainly gave enough warning signs if people were paying attention. It is incredibly difficult to get expelled from a public school in this country. Yet, he managed to do just that.

I’m over 400 words into this and I’m not even close to my main subject. This might be a two part post.

All of the foregoing has been mostly stage setting for the main points of this post.

Fox News  has the timeline of the event here. Note that the shooting started at 2:21PM. It was over three minutes later.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Department didn’t respond until 2:53PM. The timeline doesn’t say when the first call or text came into the dispatch center, but this seems like a long time to me.

CNN tells us that Columbine (1999) changed how police respond to mass shootings. Would that this was true, but it really doesn’t seem that way. What is supposed to happen now is that the first responding units enter the school and attempt to make contact with and engage the shooter. That didn’t happen at Columbine, but it also hasn’t happened as recently as last year. It didn’t happen in 2013 when a man shoot a TSA officer at Los Angeles International Airport. In that case, LAPD placed a cordon around the area and stopped paramedics from entering the terminal until after it was “secure”. Which resulted in the TSA officer bleeding to death from a survivable wound. Which also happened to a teacher at Columbine in 1999.

It didn’t happen in 2016 at the Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, FL. In that case again, fire and EMS were excluded from the command post and only brought in after the damage was done and the shooter was killed.

It doesn’t appear to have happened last Wednesday either. The SWAT Team arrived, the school was cordoned off, and the non injured students were brought out with their hands on their heads. It appears after that was done, EMS went in to look for survivors and evacuate the wounded.

I’m not sure that sending EMS into the “warm zone” of an Active Shooter incident is particularly wise. Unless they have an armed police escort, it seems like just bringing more potential victims to the scene. The police have shown time and again that protecting and assisting EMS at these incidents is not a priority. Stopping the bad guy seems to be, but only after the situation is “contained”.

During that time period victims with potentially survivable wounds are going to bleed out and die. The military has shown that most casualties who don’t die immediately die from blood loss.

Usually, it’s preventable blood loss.

Which is why the military trains all of their people, at least the ones that might go into combat, in Basic Life Saving and Combat Life Saving. This isn’t confined to medics, but is widely taught.

Which brings us to today’s topic.

We need to do that in high risk areas. Keep in mind that I am not talking about acts of terrorism, although this same approach might work there. It depends on how the attack is being carried out. We know that rampage shootings follow a pattern and are usually over within a few minutes. Which doesn’t mean that the police, fire, and EMS are going to be there right away. There is going to be some time lag, even if everyone arrives promptly and enters the active area right away.

Minutes, sometime many minutes, will go by.

Which means that the victims and their potential saviors will be all there is for some period of time.

Which means that venues that are identified at higher than average risk should have people trained and equipment cached to “Stop The Bleeding”.

There’s even an organization that is dedicated to doing this. BleedingControl.Org  is a collaboration of the American College of Surgeons, FEMA, the National Association of EMTs, and ironically perhaps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These groups developed “The Hartford Consensus” which developed the program.

Stopping the bleeding is the best way to increase survivability. Having the people who are already on scene do the stopping is the best way to stop the bleeding.

Schools, hotels, malls, movie theaters, and other venues should train their staff and buy the necessary equipment. There should also be pre designated rallying points where the patients can be brought for extraction. Oh, and equipment to do that. You can buy kits of various sizes from BleedingControl people, but you can probably find them from other sources as well.

This company HILT makes patient moving devices that might be useful as well.

Note that I have no connection with either BleedingContro or HILT and there might be other training and equipment vendors These are just two that I’ve come across.

In order to become an instructor, one has to take the course and then apply to the BleedingControl organization. There is a course coming up in the near future near me and I plan to take it. Then, I hope to teach it.

It’s easy to blog about solutions, but it’s meaningless unless one does something about it.

All EMS providers, regardless of their experience or training levels can help in this project.

If you know of other courses or equipment vendors, please let me know in the comments and I’ll add the information to this post.

One last thing. This training can come in handy in a lot of non shooting circumstances as well. It’s always nice when training spans several different areas.

1 COMMENT

  1. As I pointed out in another blog, 100 MILLION (give or take) lawful gun owners and (at least) 350 MILLION firearms did absolutely nothing wrong on that fateful day. Yet somehow we – along with the NRA are to blame. Ya can’t make up that industrial level of stupidity.

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