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Breakout 1b: Shooter Self Care

Kelly Grayson, NREMT-P, CCEMT-P

If you’re a shooter, and you don’t carry a first aid kit, you’re leaving the house unprepared. Given the remote location and lack of appropriate first aid facilities at most shooting ranges, being prepared to treat yourself or your buddy until EMS arrives can literally mean the difference between life and death. Most ranges I frequent have no AED, their first aid-kits amount to little more than a plastic box full of Bandaids and a few gauze pads, and the most absorbent dressings they have are found on a roll in the Porta John.

But equipment is only half the equation. Proper training is just as important.

A number of people over the years have approached me to teach first aid classes for shooters. Problem is, no such canned course exists. The only thing that comes close is Tactical Combat Casualty Care, which is primarily aimed at combat medics and corpsmen operating under battlefield conditions.

However, for any of you interested, I have put together a self-care class for gunshot wounds at the NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. It’ll be taught by shooters (all of whom happen to be medics and EMT instructors), for shooters. We’ll cover:

·         Recognition and management of life-threatening bleeding
·         Use of combat tourniquets
·         Hemostatic dressings
·         Occlusive dressings
·         Thoracic trauma treatment
·         Eye injuries

Kelly Grayson, is a critical care paramedic in Louisiana. He has spent the past 18 years as a field paramedic, critical care transport paramedic, field supervisor and educator. He is a former president of the Louisiana EMS Instructor Society and board member of the LA Association of Nationally Registered EMTs.

He is a frequent EMS conference speaker and contributor to various EMS training texts, and is the author of the popular blog A Day In the Life of an Ambulance Driver. The paperback version of Kelly's book is available at booksellers nationwide. You can follow him on Twitter (@AmboDriver) or Facebook (, or email him at