Anyone who carries a gun should have a first-aid kit and some first-aid training. It’s just common sense.

Understanding that a deadly force incident is a high-stress event, you will need to control your emotions and remain calm if you need to treat a gunshot wound. Remember three things: Call for help. Stop the bleeding. Start the breathing.

Focus on those elements and you will increase your likelihood of saving a life.

A good Individual First-Aid Kit (IFAK) is very important in the treatment of gunshot wounds or other serious injuries. Do not settle for a kit with some Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment. Your kit should include a tourniquet, large gauze pads and some sort of compress dressing like an Israeli bandage. Duct tape or medical tape is also very important for the treatment of chest wounds.

Every gunshot wound is different. There may be lots of blood or there may be very little. You may see a large gaping wound or you may see a small hole. Treat what you believe to be the most serious injury first and get help quickly.

Also remember to maintain a level of situational awareness while treating a gunshot wound victim. If there was one bad guy, there may be another.

Helping Your Attacker?

Think carefully about providing first aid to your attacker. If this person was so dangerous that you needed to use your pistol to stop the threat, there is no telling what the person will do if you get close enough to apply a bandage. If you and your family are uninjured after a shooting, move to cover, call 911 and get help moving your way. Always be alert for additional attackers.