The Ecosystem of Preparedness: Funny-looking Fanny Packs or Life Saving Bleed Control Kits? 

 February 4, 2019

By  Dan Flanders

Anecdotes:  /noun/ a brief account of something interesting that happened to one personally

Dan Flanders, Founder & CEO

You might laugh at the idea of a fanny pack, especially a clear fanny pack – and ask “how can transparent fanny packs be such an integral part of preparedness?”  Well, after 22 years of work in the fire service, as an EMT, paramedic, and finally into the trauma center life, I’ve learned that finding ANYTHING in a hurry – especially when unfamiliar with the contents of a container and with tension and emotions running high – results in those contents (of, say, a med bag) being emptied (you could probably replace ‘emptied’ with ‘dumped’ in a lot of cases) everywhere.  Now imagine the benefits of being able to see the contents of a trauma/bleed control kit without opening it, allowing you to grab what you need QUICKLy, and without dumping the contents on the floor. 

Beyond the functional utility of the transparent pack, consider the practicalities of transparency and inventory management (you can see if the kit is complete or missing components without opening it) and even familiarization (providing instruction on the contents and purpose without compromising the integrity of the kit).  The transparent pack – wearable, offers hands free use, doesn’t limit range of motion, won’t fall off your shoulder, and you won’t set it down and accidentally leave it in a high stress situation.  It just plain works!! 

When you couple the transparent pack with the best-available and most broadly effective tourniquet on the market – the RATS Tourniquet to be specific – the funny-looking transparent fanny pack becomes a life saving Classroom Trauma Action Kit (CTAK).  The contents of any trauma/bleed control kit matter, starting with the tourniquet type; your kits should contain easy-to-use tourniquets that are nearly universal (effective on young children to large adult men to elderly grandparents).  We’ve found that almost all kits placed within schools contain tourniquets that are both DIFFICULT to apply and medically INEFFECTIVE on the typical person who occupies the building. 

Beyond the tourniquets, our CTAK (a great euphemism for the clear fanny packs) contents include:  pressure dressings that allow easy control of most bleeding wounds; a CPR mask that doubles as an occlusive bandage (for sucking chest wounds); trauma shears; and a simple how-to info graphic.  There is even an evidence-based rationale for the color of nitrile gloves in our kits – in a time where many decisions are made based on form over function, the “tacticool” want cordura kit bags and the “medical” want black nitrile gloves.  Unfortunately, you can’t see blood on black gloves!  Using your hands to find wounds is a tried and true practice – and we’ve chosen blue/purple nitrile gloves because blood is highly visible on them!

Furthermore, the PrePlanLive team advocates for a CTAK in every classroom across America.  The cost of most available solutions makes this a cost-prohibitive option – but what good are a few trauma/bleed control kits (located in hallways or a school’s main office) during a lockdown scenario?  Why would we force our teachers or students to leave a locked and secure classroom to access a life saving kit, potentially exposing them to the threat that has caused the lockdown?  We’ve gone to great lengths to minimize the cost of the PrePlanLive CTAK, making this a truly viable option for placement in every classroom.

If you’re interested in learning more about our approach to trauma/bleed control kits, please send us a message or give us a call!

related posts:

Craig LaPine
Craig LaPine