Las Vegas outdoor concert festival turned into a nightmare in seconds after a gunman opened fire on 22,000 people attending. The shooter rained down bullets from a nearby hotel on the 31st floor and left no options to the large crowd but to duck and run. Currently at least 58 dead and more than 515 people taken to area hospitals.
Videos and photos of the event shock any and all who watch the terrifying scene that President Trump called "an act of pure evil".
No one could have predicted such an event. Safety tends to come first at work but what level of importance is safety at home or on vacation?
Here are a few things that you should know if you ever find yourself in a gunner or emergency situation.
What to do before...
1) Be aware.
Trusting your instincts and in such an emergency situation can save your life. Know that everywhere you go disaster can strike. Know your emergency exits in any place. Whether it be a natural disaster or other terror most cases you want a place to take cover or somewhere to hide.
Practice out situations at home with your family and make sure that kids and adults are aware of the emergency plan for a robber, a fire, an earthquake, if they are separated in a public place, a school shooting, etc.
2) Be prepared.
Preparing yourself with emergency supplies AND training can make the real difference. If you buy an emergency kit and throw it on a shelf in your garage how likely are you to remember it in an emergency?
A young woman quoted to us, after a friends passing away because of hitting his head on the sidewalk several years ago, "After sitting there in a hopeless situation and watching him pass because of loss of blood I found out that I could have saved his life if I had a simple Israeli Bandage..."
To this day, she carries one. Such a simple preparedness item but just having one isn't enough. She learned how to apply it and what situations to use it in.
A trauma bag is great to have on hand but it's the education that makes the difference.
What do to if you're caught unprepared
It's understandable that is the biggest need after such a tragedy. Our question, that will probably never officially be answered by the media, is "How many people in the crowd could have saved themselves and others with knowledge of how to apply a compress or a tourniquet?"
If you are in a situation with someone or yourself who has a life-threatening bleeding wound...
- Protect yourself from exposure to others' blood. You are in danger of exposure to disease so keep in mind that you are at risk when dealing with the blood of another person. Just like responders keep CPR masks and gloves on them at all times, we can do the same. Keep a pair or two of rubber gloves in your purse or pocket.
- Apply a compress and pressure. A tee shirt is better than nothing. Anything to slow down the bleeding and apply pressure. Socks and shirts are commonly available in any situation.
- If the wound is in the leg or arm a tourniquet is an option. A few options to use as a tourniquet are a belt, bandana, scarf, long sleeve shirt, a long shoelace, etc. Make sure to tie it 3-4 inches above the injury between the injury and the heart. Wrap tightly. If applied properly the bleeding of the extremity will cease. With an amputation, do not remove the tourniquet at any time. With a proper tourniquet, it is recommended to release the pressure of the tool to allow for circulation to the extremity.
- Seek medical attention.
If you find yourself in a live shooter situation be sure to...
- Evacuate. Have a plan in mind for how to get away.
- Leave belongings behind. Your life is priceless.
- Help others escape if possible. Don't prevent others from getting to safety.
- Call 911 soon as possible.
Good Better Best
Here at Shield-Safety, we pray for the people in Las Vegas and their families. We are grateful for the quick response of medics and for those who worked to get people to safety. Share to better prepare the world for the unexpected.
There was no way to predict such a terrible event could occur. School shootings, public bombings, natural disasters cannot be ignored. Take the time to sit with your family and discuss what you can better do to prepare yourselves. We advise every public location or place where groups gather to have trauma bags that carry those emergency items.
There are proper items and training on the market that can help keep prepared for such events. Plan ahead for any situation and keep a mobile-first aid kit with you that can provide you with simple things such as a compress or tourniquet. There is even technology available that stops life-threatening bleeding wounds for bullets or knives called Quikclot. Someone's life could depend on you and your training.
The saying should no longer be IF an emergency occurs but WHEN an emergency occurs. Seconds safe lives if properly prepared.