Beyond the Band-Aid: Making Holes, Plugging Holes

With all the emphasis on making holes, how often do we consider plugging holes; not just in victims and perps recently ventilated, but our partners and ourselves?


The medical gear you’ll need for a proper trauma kit or “blow-out” kit is relatively easy to find and consists of the following items: a purpose built tourniquet (the CAT and MET-T are my favorites), pressure dressing and medical gauze, an NPA (Nasopharyngeal Airway) and a Chest Decompression Needle.  Individual components and complete kits are available from North American Rescue, TQS Response, and Blackheart International.  

Get the Training        

Unfortunately, most LE agencies are satisfied to mandate CPR and Heimlich training and call it good.  It is also disappointing but true that many local paramedics view trauma medicine and their arena and are hesitant conduct training.  Again we fall back on the “we can’t train them, there’s too much liability”.

If you are carrying a gun because your job requires you to potentially ventilate bad guys you need to be able to plug the holes on the good guys and innocent victims.  Off the top of my head, serious trauma medicine training can be had from Tactical Response in the form of their Immediate Action Medical 2-day course and from Gunsite Academy as their Emergency Medical Preparedness, a 3-day course.

We spend a lot of time and effort on the range working on our hole making skills, perhaps a few hours learning how to plug the holes might be appropriate as well.  The gear and training are available.  The rest is up to you.


About The Author:

Mr. Markel is a former United States Marine, Police Officer, and has worked as a professional bodyguard both in the U.S. and overseas. A Subject Matter Expert on Small Arms and Tactics, Markel has provided instruction to law enforcement and U.S. Military troops.

As a recognized author and writer, Paul has penned several hundred articles published in numerous professional journals and trade periodicals. Topics include firearms training, use of force, marksmanship, less-than-lethal force options, product reviews and evaluations, emergency medical care, and much more. Sought after as a public speaker, Mr. Markel is at home in front of an audience large or small.

  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.