Guest Post by Mark Compton
Do you have one? Does everyone know it? Does everyone roll their eyes when you discuss it? When was the last time you did a test-run of the plan?
We all talk about safety. Muzzle Awareness. Plan of action in case of Fill in the Blank.
Our club found out firsthand that our EAP works. I don’t recommend finding out the same way though.
First off, when you’re under the make ready or unload and show clear, you’re no longer on the clock. Take your time and get it right. The race starts after the beep and there’s no reason to rush through the make-ready process.
So, what’s in your IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)? Have you trained with it? Have you taken a basic first-aid or trauma management class? Our games are played with some of the most dangerous tools available and bad things can and do happen. Are you prepared for it as an individual? As a club? Our safety briefing covers the usual range safety – safe areas/tables, and where the first aid bag is. Each squad box has an IFAK inside it. We also cover what to do in case there’s a serious injury that we need to stop shooting entirely. STOP to the shooter… but Cease-fire across the range, letting it roll throughout. Basically, we want the range to go cold and stay that way until the incident is resolved.
What’s the range address? How about GPS coordinates? Does the range have signage with this info? How about range Emergency Contact Information?
Where’s the nearest hospital? Are they equipped with trauma management, or do you need a more advanced hospital? If so, where’s that located?
Okay, worst case scenario – someone’s been accidentally shot. How do you call this into 911? How do you convey the information without causing delays in getting EMS on site? Choose your words carefully and stay calm about everything. If you can’t stay calm while relaying this information to the dispatcher, have someone else make the call.
Dispatch: 911, what is your emergency?
Caller: We have had an accident at the (name of) range and someone is injured. We need an ambulance.
Let the dispatcher guide you through the nature of the injury.
Stating that someone has been shot, stands a good chance that 911 will put the word out on the radio that will cause delays in getting EMT’s on site. We don’t want such delays, so be sure to make it clear that this is an injury caused by an accidental gunshot, and not a deliberate act
911 has been notified, EMS has been dispatched; what next?
Send at least 2 people to the range entrance. If your range is like ours, you may have some form of Law Enforcement at the match with either marked or unmarked cars – with radios and lights. Use them if you can. If you don’t have such a vehicle handy, use your emergency flashers on your car.
When EMS does arrive, have one person escort them to the victim. The other people should stay at the range entrance in case of follow-on responders or in case of news media. Our range is a private range, so we can tell the media that they need to remain at the road and clear of the entrance. We don’t need cameras interfering with this.
EMS has left with the patient, now what?
If it’s safe to do so, go back to shooting.
As the match director, follow up with the victim. Call them and let them know that you’re concerned. Keep following up with them. Be kind.
DNROI note: USPSA has a very admirable and long safety record, which I attribute to the attentiveness and diligence of our range officials. But, accidents happen, and we all must be prepared to act when they do.
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