In this blog article we are going to discuss a few aspects of setting up trauma kits for vehicles. My main focus of this article is not to convince the reader that they should have one but to address the need for staging multiple small trauma kits. This is primarily for people that either spend a lot of time driving where the risk of being involved in an accident is higher than usual and in particular for people that need to be prepared to fight from and around a vehicle, i.e. law enforcement, Military, PSD, armored vehicle personnel, etc.
Why so many small kits instead of a single large kit? Well, I also have a couple of large kits but these smaller kits have a different function. Staging smaller kits around the vehicle allow me to access them even if I don’t have access to the large kit in the rear cargo area of the vehicle. The two primary scenarios of concern for me are fighting around a vehicle and having to use the vehicle for cover and being involved in a collision where I am pinned in the vehicle and unable to self-extricate. In both scenarios a large portion of the vehicle is not available to me either by threat of gunfire or due to having some portion of my body mashed in the vehicle and the possibility of injury is high.
Most readers have seen the multiple detailed reports of the North Hollywood Shootout where multiple officers were injured by two gunman attempting to rob a bank. In this single event multiple officers used vehicles as moderately effective cover and became trapped behind those vehicles unable to reach equipment or support until being rescued by others. While you can’t stage an armored personnel carrier in your door you can store “Bandaids and Bullets”.
In this image the red boxes indicate staged equipment, positioned for accessibility to both front seat passengers while in the vehicle and provides good access while using the vehicle as cover from various directions of attack.
In this image the number of kits is reduced but access is still fairly good. The advantage of this placement is that in the event of a door collision the kit would still be available to the occupants.
Both of the examples given are specifically focused at LE where the rear seat is commonly caged for transport. If you are setting up a personal vehicle, PSD sedan or SUV, or any other type of vehicle keep in mind the areas you will be sitting if involved in a collision as well as what areas will be accessible if you have to use the vehicle for cover during a shooting.
Also, remember that these kits should not replace a large kit if you are trained in using one. These kits are designed to treat immediate life threats in the immediate moments after a collision or during an ongoing firefight.
Until next time, stay sharp.