California FD agrees with us: Civilians should be able to treat shooting, bombing victims

trauma-kit-gallery-photos-008This story from the L.A. Times supports a contention we made in a blog post and video last year about the importance of trauma first aid care by civilians.

For the last year, Rancho Cucamonga’s fire and law enforcement officials have teamed up to teach civilians how to triage and tie tourniquets on shooting victims, in the same way CPR is taught in case of emergencies.

They believe that people armed with these skills can save lives because they’re often the first ones at a crime scene. Many of those injured in the Boston Marathon bombing survived in part because bystanders started creating makeshift dressings and tourniquets before paramedics showed up, experts say.

Traditional first aid kits have their place, but in today’s world of random life-threatening violence emergency medicine has changed.

“Whether it’s a vehicle attack in Sweden, a church bombing in Egypt or an elementary school shooting in San Bernardino, the common denominators is that civilians are always there first,” Lichtman said. “We know it’s just a matter of time before this happens again.”

Lichtman and his team recently started providing active shooter training to local school administrators, teachers and high school students. The high number of fatal school shootings in recent years shows how necessary it is for schools to hold active shooter trainings, in the same way they regularly have earthquake and fire drills for students, he said.

“We need to wake up,” he said.