0368 – 15 Minute Friday – Medical Skills Matter

You are doing self defense wrong!

Most defensive shooters out there are doing it wrong.  By definition.  If you are a defensive shooter, it means that you are specialized in a very specific area of defense.  Shooting might be the most fun area to specialize in.  It might be the sexiest.  When you need shooting it certainly is important.

Most folks never need their gun.

Instead they need avoidance skills.  They need unarmed skills.  They need medical skills.

Yet very few take that seriously.


Medical Skills:  More important than defensive firearm skills.

It is true.  Medical skills are more likely to be used in a much wider set of circumstances than defensive handgun skills.

As a professional defensive firearms instructor, I have never had to fire my gun in self defense, yet there are 4 times where I have used medical skills to impact another person’s life in a significantly positive manner.

It is probably the same with you.

Even if you do find yourself involved in violence, serious injury is a common consequence of violence.  So it only makes sense that you would want to have medical skills to help deal with the consequences of violence once you do what needs to be done.

So do something about it.

I think medical skills are so important that I host Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics twice a year.  He will be back in Cleveland the first weekend in November for his Dynamic First Aid and Range Response Course.   These courses will provide quality information to ANYONE that wants to take control of their destiny in a medical emergency.  Space is limited so make sure to register today!



Important Resources


What you should do next:

You can do all those things by connecting with Safety Solutions Academy.  Simply use your phone to text “friday15” to the #33444 for additional resources delivered to your inbox in an easy to use pdf document.  The links are right there for you to follow so that you can figure it all out.


I will also include an easy fill in the blank Range Emergency Action Plan for you to use to organize your resources.  This will help to make sure you are ready should you ever face a accident on the range.



Thanks for taking the time to consider what I have to say!



-= Paul Carlson =-



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Here is the latest episode of Safety Solutions Academy

Below you will find the transcript of the podcast episode:

As a professional defensive firearms instructor I could say this to nine out of 10 of my students I see in firearms courses:

“You are doing it wrong!”

The clock is running!

My name is Paul Carlson on your host this of course is 15 minute Friday.

15 Minute Friday is a fast-paced short presentation designed to get you thinking about your own personal safety the personal safety of those around you.

Today in episode 368 we are going to talk about medical training and why it is that medical training is one of the most important aspects of your personal security.

Let’s get started!

First of all folks, plain and simply you need medical training. There are all kinds of circumstances in life that demand time and time again we see these situations play out on the news, we hear about them from our friends and we watch them play out right in front of us.  Situations where medical training can make a difference.

The fact is, even though I’m a defensive firearms instructor, I’ve never needed to use my firearm to defend myself or those that love.

Now maybe it’s because I’m so good avoidance or I’ve just not found myself that circumstance yet. Okay. I’ll continue to prepare and be ready to deal with that when it comes, but, the fact is there have been three specific occasions where I have rendered medical aid to other individuals and it made a life-saving difference for them.

Let me say it again.  You need medical training and there are a couple of reasons why you need medical training.

First of all, a medical situation is much more likely to occur than some kind of violent encounter.  I see these people come into my firearms classes and I say that they’re doing it wrong is because they come into a firearms class and they focus on the gun.

That’s the solution to them to all the problems and don’t think about the rest of the equation.

When it comes to personal safety, they ignore avoidance. They ignore unarmed combatives.  They ignore medical treatment.  They ignore the legal aspect. They are missing the point because they’re so focused on that awesome cool tool. The handgun that only works in a tiny sliver of circumstances.

Those medical situations are much, much, more likely.  I’m guessing that you probably haven’t been involved in violence recently.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe you have been involved in something serious, but most of us we can’t say that we’ve been involved in violence recently.  Thank goodness. You have, however, been involved in driving a car, right? You’ve been driving a car on a regular basis or riding as a passenger in a vehicle.

Incidents happen to people over the course of time in motor vehicles.

Along with motor vehicle accidents, serious medical injuries, injuries that need attention right now, injuries that maybe there isn’t going to be enough time for medical personnel to get on scene and make a difference. So who does it come down to? It comes down to you!

Just yesterday we saw at Umpqua Community College in Oregon where medical may have been the most important aspect of the day.   We haven’t heard all the stories and we don’t understand everything that was going on there but, whether there was someone there with a gun or not, there were a bunch of people that were injured. A bunch of people that needed medical attention.

Even if you do get involved in that violence, you have to understand that medical is probably going to be a part of that job.  Serious medical injury is one of the biggest consequences one of the most common consequence of being involved in violence. The fact is that most violent encounters end up with someone injured.  As an armed citizen you’re most likely to find out that you’re in the middle of a fight when you’ve been kicked, or hit, or cut, or slashed, or stabbed, or shot at, or shot.

Do you think that you’re going to get through that without any injuries whatsoever? Maybe there won’t be life-threatening injuries, but there may be injuries nonetheless. You need to be prepared to deal with those injuries.  You could be injured in violence. So if you carry a gun because you’re really worried that you’re going to be involved in violence your a fool if you don’t have medical training.  Let’s not forget about the other people that you care about. Someone else that you love could be injured. You may find out that you’re in the fight for your life with your child or your wife or your spouse or your best friend or someone you care about deeply is injured right there before your eyes.

Yes, you need to deal with the threat  That is what the gun is for and you’ve got that. Awesome. Great. After you do that what is next?  Now do you stand around with your thumb in your wherever you put your thumb in and wait for somebody else to deal with that problem?  You think that it’s awesome to be prepared to deal with the problem of violence, but it’s not awesome to be prepared to deal with medical emergencies.

Keep in mind that other innocent people could be injured. Maybe you’re out there and you don’t know anyone that you’re with. That doesn’t mean that you don’t need practical medical training.  Other innocent people could be injured in violence. Maybe just like at Umpqua Community College yesterday. Maybe you find out that there’s violence going on and you go to it or maybe you’re standing right there and you can’t act fast as you would like to.  Remember, you are reacting and that means that you are behind the curve and it means that one or two or three or four people could be injured before you have time to get there, to access your tools, and to do whatever work that needs to get done successfully and put that person where they need to be.

The fact is is that time means that other people could be injured.

I know that there are probably very few people that aren’t saying, “Man oh man. If there would’ve just been somebody there with a firearm ready to deal with the situation right off the bat , this may have turned out much better.”

I agree with that statement that would be great.  Whether this is a place where a policy prohibiting handguns or law prohibited handguns or whatever the case might be, there wasn’t that person immediately there.

It would be awesome to be able to use your defensive skills to save lives wouldn’t it?  But wouldn’t it be even more awesome if after you use those defensive skills you used your medical skills and people that were dying didn’t die?

It only makes sense why do half a job?

How many of you out there do half of the work that for a job  and then just consider it complete?  Is it done? Of course not.

You don’t just throw the clothes in the washer. No.  If you want to finish the job they have got to go in the dryer.

If you were to find yourself in a defensive gun use, once you are finished with the life-saving action with that defensive tool, you need to be prepared to complete the work.  Should you be in that situation, there is more work to be done. Part of that work is the medical work.  If you don’t have the proper training, if you don’t have the proper tools, if you don’t have the proper mindset, you may find yourself in a situation where you can do only half of the work.

The fact of the matter is that each and every one of us has the ability to make a difference. Medical skills aren’t insanely complicated.  The tools are required aren’t hugely difficult to acquire or difficult to carry.  We can always have with us the knowledge that we need, and the knowledge is not so difficult to get a hold of and to understand that it’s beyond our grasp.

You can make a difference, but only if you consciously decide today that you are going to be ready to make that difference when it counts. That means getting medical knowledge.  It means gaining medical skills and medical training. It means having the medical tools on hand when you’re ready to go.

Folks you’re the one that has to live with yourself whether comes to dealing with violence or it comes to a medical emergency medical merges.  Understand, your uncle Fred, choking on a turkey leg at Thanksgiving dinner can be just as much of a problem as your whole family watches him die because no one has the skills to save him. That would stink.

Wouldn’t it make sense to prepare for that?  We must remember that it’s not just the consequences of violence that we need to be ready for.  We need to be ready for all different kinds of medical situations because it’s so much more common.

The fact of the matter is that if you don’t have the skills to deal with that defensive situation or that medical situations you have to live with the consequences. It’s not the paramedics fault that it took too long to get there, and even if it was, they don’t have to live with the consequences. They will go home and do their thing with their family and live their lives.  You are the one that has to live with the  consequences.

If you’re prepared.  If your ready to go to, you won’t need to spend a lot of time thinking about anything.  Instead, you’re just going to do what it is that needs to be done.

If you don’t prepare, especially now that I’m telling you that you need to prepare and that you need to be ready, if you don’t do that and your time comes, the rest your life you might find yourself thinking in your head, “If I only would have…”

How many things are there like that in life? There are a lot of, “You know, if I only would’ve remembered to file my taxes on time then I wouldn’t have had to pay the penalties…” “If I only would have realized that it was 25 instead of 45 then I wouldn’t have gotten a ticket…”

Some things matter and some of them really don’t.

When it comes to medical knowledge, skills and tools we are talking about people’s lives and it matters. It just matters.

If you are involved in that situation you’re involved in that violence and you don’t have those skills you’ve only got the ability to do half the work and you won’t be ready to deal with that aftermath.  So get those skills and do it now.

Do it and in that dire moment it might be what it is that makes you a hero.  Heroes aren’t extraordinary people or amazing people. They are not people that are better than you or I.  They don’t have more fortitude or have more strength.  Hero’s are simply people that have taken time to prepare.  A hero is a person who has looked at it and said, “Wow man, this might be important!” and they then get ready to deal with what it is that might be important.

I would argue to you that medical skills are more important than your defensive firearms.  Before you upgrade that trigger get medical skills, get medical tools and get medical knowledge.

Before you head to the range and work on your 25 your group, get medical skills, get medical training and medical knowledge.

Before you take another two-day defensive handgun class get medical skills, get training get knowledge.

Skip the match next weekend go and instead of getting some of your Three Gun awesomeness, skip it and get medical skills.  You know why? The weekend after that someone could get hurt at that match or there may be injury on the way home from work on the side of the road and you could help them deal with that life and death situation.

That’s to be way better than shooting a 90% of the guy that beats you every weekend.

Medical skills can be some of the most important things and don’t forget about the difference between the common person and a hero.  The hero looks at what needs to be done and prepares for it.

Are you ready? Do you have those medical skills? Are you are you prepared to deal with common medical situations?  Do you have the tools with you to deal with those situations?

Get ready.  That’s what I’m encouraging you to do so if you find yourself in that situation, whether it’s a community college in Oregon or walking down the street with your family, whether it’s related to violence or it simply just a medical emergency that happens in life, you’ll be ready to deal with it.

The way to deal with medical issues in the future is to start developing your medical knowledge now!

Start with Red Cross basic first aid. Start with CPR. Begin at the beginning. That will help with those situations that you come across whether it’s at work and someone has a heart attack you can keep them functionally alive until medical professionals arrive. You can make a difference between the call to 911 and when 911 arrives. With an average of 12 minutes average response time across the nation that’s a lot of time to be thinking to yourself, “Awe man,  I wish I would have taken that class… What do I do next? This is horrible…”

Why think those things when you could think to yourself, “Okay, what needs to be done?” and then you just do it!

Get those medical skills so that you can count on them in everyday life. Get those medical tools so that you can count on them in a violent crisis.

Once you get that basic stuff taken care of if you’re into the defensive firearms, find a program that teaches you to deal with the devastating penetrating trauma of gun shot wounds. The next step is to take the tactical medicine that helps you to learn how to respond to a situation when you’re out on the shooting range, to learn how to deal with gunshot wounds, learn how to deal with severe bleeding, learn how to deal with traumatic injuries. You should make sure that you take those courses before you take your next range class.

I’m telling you that, as a guy that runs handgun classes for living, the medical stuff is more important and you need to take action on that medical training.

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