This story came across my newsfeed this weekend and reminded me why we should all be carrying a tourniquet or, at the least, have one very close. And know how to use it.
This past weekend, a man was hit by an Amtrak train in New Orleans, LA, amputating his leg. According to local news reports, the man had dementia and was sleeping on the tracks. The train operator called the police to report that he had hit a man lying on the tracks. After searching the tracks, the police found the man bleeding out. Luckily, officers arriving on the scene quickly applied a tourniquet, likely saving his life before he could be transported to a hospital.
I am not a police officer and won’t be responding to someone being hit by a train. But I almost always have a tourniquet on my body or very close to me (i.e., backpack, trauma kit, first aid kit.) I’ve been hearing this saying a lot latest, and it is true. You are more likely to need a tourniquet than the gun that you carry.
Tourniquets are inexpensive and easy to carry, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t carry one.
For on-body carry, I either use an ankle trauma kit or simply in a pocket. That is one thing I like about Vertx pants. There’s an extra “mag pocket” on each side of the hip that a tourniquet perfectly fits in. I’ve also been testing out carrying a tourniquet in a Mastermind Tactics AIWB/IWB TQ Pouch strapped to my Phlster Enigma. I like this setup since it allows me to carry my gun and a tourniquet while wearing shorts, track pants, etc.
For off-body carry, I’ve been using a Vertx Walker Medium Medical Pouch (as seen in the main photo) as a trauma kit that I can toss into whatever bag I’m taking with me that day. I can toss that into my carry-on bag and get through security just fine if I am flying.
I have an older version of the Fieldcraft Survival Modular Visor Panel in my vehicle, where I have a trauma kit with a tourniquet. This is velcroed to my sunroom and is within arms reach of myself or someone in the passenger seat. I also have a first aid backpack that stays in my vehicle and has a trauma section with four tourniquets. If there are multiple injuries or casualties, I’d like to have more than just one tourniquet if possible.
My tourniquet of choice is a CAT Tourniquet. I started carrying a SOF Tourniquet in the Phlster Enigma setup since it can be staged flatter than the CAT.
Lastly, know how to use it. Carrying a tourniquet will do you no good if you don’t know how to actually use it. You can find videos online of how to apply the specific tourniquet you are carrying. I highly suggest that you get medical training though. At the least, take a Stop the Bleed class. But I always recommend that concealed carriers should be TCCC certified.