For a little background, I teach ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) and BCON (Bleeding Control) training courses frequently. I’m an anesthesiologist in a rural community hospital. I also completed a year of residency training in General and Trauma Surgery during my journey to becoming a physician. Additionally, my family and I are advocates for personal and community preparedness.
SHTF Life-Threatening Scenarios
Many topics on this forum deal with “WTSHTF” scenarios. Of course, these emergencies, whether short-term or long-term are certainly not outside the realm of possibility. However, I’d also like to challenge all who read this to become better prepared for more likely medical emergencies that can still be tragically fatal, yet often preventable, in our day-to-day lives. The emergencies we see today may not be regional, national, or worldwide in scope. Yet, if there is a life-threatening emergency affecting your loved one, the SHTF has happened in your personal life and you might want to know how to help increase their chances of survival.
Become CPR and Bleeding Control Certified
For starters, I would encourage everyone to become CPR and Bleeding Control certified. Both of these courses are offered in many communities, and they are usually free or offered at low cost. These courses provide many important pieces of information that just might save your life, or the life of a friend, relative, or coworker.
More Likely Than EMP
Statistically, you are much more likely to encounter someone who has a heart attack, is drowning, chokes on a foreign body, or suffers a massive hemorrhage than you are to ever encounter an EMP attack or a gang of zombie bikers in a “WROL” situation. The knowledge you gain from completing these two courses could help you save that victim’s life. For those of you who live in a rural area, like my family does, dialing “911” still means the ambulance is often 20+ minutes away. Your skills may make the difference in whether someone survives until more advanced medical care can arrive and transport to the hospital, or they die a tragically preventable death.
Ways BCON Course Can Save Life in Prepper Community
Imagine the ways a BCON course can save a life in the prepper community. Chainsaw accidents, gunshot wounds during firearms training, or rural auto accidents you encounter on your drive home are all possible scenarios in the rural lifestyle. And all of these scenarios and well as many others are those where potential lives could be saved with the application of knowledge gained from this two-hour course and supplies. I’m talking about less than $100 worth of medical supplies on hand in your home or vehicle. How valuable would that training be to you if you use it to save your wife’s life after a home invasion goes badly? What if it were your child’s life if an active shooter opens fire into your church on a Sunday morning?
Advanced Training First Responder/EMR Course
For those of you with more time and interest, I would also recommend more advanced training in a First Responder/EMR course. Beyond EMR training, there is even an EMT course. This will require more commitment, but you will see your knowledge and skills enhanced the more time you put into it.
Useful for SHTF Event Now and Later
For those hardcore preppers who are solely focused on a SHTF event occurring, I would challenge you to view these skills as useful in your everyday life. Furthermore, they are fully transferrable to a time of SHTF circumstances that is widespread and affecting masses of people.
Most Healthcare Workers Poorly Prepared for SHTF
Most healthcare workers are poorly prepared, like the majority of other Americans. As you know, the unprepared will unfortunately be part of the die-off that may accompany such trying times. For those doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who are prepared and survive, they will likely be hunkered down on their bug out properties and no longer working at the local hospital. You will be on your own. The bottomline is that you may be the closest thing to a doctor your family or survival group has. Any skill or supply you can acquire now can help you in these circumstances.
Knowledge and Supplies
Proper knowledge and supplies are both fundamental to saving lives, and one is as equally necessary as the other. I would encourage everyone to have a BCON/IFAK (individual first aid kit) bag, as well as protective gloves and a CPR mask. These are needed in both their home and each vehicle. It probably makes sense to have a separate kit for each bug out bag as well. That way you are never far from a kit when you need it. I have also begun carrying an extra tourniquet in my chainsaw chaps and range bag, as I view these as higher-risk activities. All these supplies may be purchased from Amazon or other vendors in individual components, or together as a pre-assembled kit for around $100.
Below is a list of opportunities to find training in your area:
Bleeding Control (BCON):
- American College of Surgeons- BleedingControl.org 
Many state EMS commissions have an online listing of courses.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest . The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator  from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses , excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper . These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees  in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product  from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses .
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator  provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4  Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of  Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack , a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners , donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections , a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances , and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord  (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail  us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.