Sometimes first responders aren’t sure what situation they’re heading into. It could be a major car accident, a trapped person, or a lost hiker. In the cases when you just don’t know what to expect, you need a gear bag that prepares for it all.
Here are some examples of supplies you need to be a successful first responder.
More often than not, you’ll need to treat an injured person on the scene. Car accidents produce blunt force trauma and flesh wounds, which require certain emergency medical supplies; meanwhile, someone trapped in a confined space suffering from asphyxiation requires breathing apparatus among other things. Each treatment scenario is different, but there are some important items you’ll always need to bring along.
- Medical bandages are vital to stop bleeding and control infection. This includes gauze, antimicrobial pads, and medical tape.
- An emergency blanket can give warmth and comfort to people suffering from hypothermia, shock, and bleeding. They come in fleece, wool, and polyester to meet all your needs.
- Injection guns provide quick and easy access to a patient’s IV pathways, enabling you to administer life-saving fluids in less than a minute. Best of all, you don’t have to fiddle with needles or touch any blood, which puts yourself at risk for bacterial infection and viruses.
Many first responders must act as rescuers in addition to medical aid personnel. In these situations, it’s ideal to have the basics of land and water rescue in your kit.
- The water rescue equipment you should bring is easy: rope, a water knife with a rubber grip and clips, water shoes, and gloves that still grip in wet conditions. These things are small enough to fit in your bag but useful enough in almost every water rescue scenario you’ll face.
- Land-based rescue efforts can be harder to pack for. Since anything can happen—car accidents, explosions, fires, terrorism—you’ll have to adapt to each situation to be effective. However, there are some things you should definitely have: a knife, telescoping police baton, flashlight, flares, a bright orange or yellow vest, GPS, a shortwave radio, gas mask and more.
Since you’ll have to fit all of these things in one sturdy bag, opt for a duffel with lots of space that has water-repellent or waterproof properties, strong straps and a rubberized bottom.
Keep your bag low-key and store it in a dry area to prevent condensation on your equipment. Get to know your bag well—it could mean the difference between a life saved and a life lost.