Imagine that you’ve been assigned to a SWAT entry. As your team exits the “war wagon” ready to hit the door, shots ring out from the wooded area next to your target house. Multiple shooters have ambushed you, and two of your team members have taken rifle rounds in their thighs, while a third caught a round in his elbow. They hobble to cover, but all three officers are bleeding profusely.
The barrage of incoming fire is relentless. The shooters have the high ground advantage, your team pinned down, and are hell-bent on killing all the officers involved.
You and the rest of your team return far more accurate fire, ending the ambush within just a few minutes. However, the injuries to your team are serious. Two of your team members have had their femoral arteries severed, and the third has several heavily bleeding compound fractures exposed in his arm.
Will you be able to retrieve the medical pack and apply tourniquets in time to save them? Death from femoral bleeding can occur in as little as 2-3 minutes. Clearly, in a situation like this, applying a tourniquet within just a few seconds of being wounded is far better than waiting even a few minutes.
With this in mind, the question is obvious: How can we equip our officers so they can self-apply a tourniquet immediately after being shot, even when they’re pinned down by gunfire and have no one to help them? To complicate matters, they must be able to apply the tourniquet one-handed in case they are seriously wounded in the arm.
A Company with a Solution
The answer comes from Blackhawk! (www.blackhawk.com). In less than 15 years, Blackhawk! grew from a one-man operation into a dominating manufacturer and supplier of premier-quality military, law enforcement and industrial security gear. Their “secret of success” is really quite simple. The founder of Blackhawk! (a retired Navy SEAL) and the vast majority of their employees responsible for the development of their gear are highly trained and experienced end-users.
Several retired Navy SEALs and former law enforcement members spearhead the company, ensuring that everything they produce has the quality and functionality levels that they wish they would have had, when they actively served. After all, there’s no substitute for real-world experience, and the collective experience of the Blackhawk! team is of epic proportions. Their equipment is a direct reflection of this experience, and all you’ll find is outstanding innovative designs, premiere quality and, in many categories, award-winning gear!
TACTICAL I.T.S. Pants & Shirts
With the help of trauma doctors, Blackhawk! designed the WARRIOR WEAR TACTICAL I.T.S. (Integrated Tourniquet System) pants and shirts for the military, the preceding SWAT scenario and numerous other situations where one of our warriors is wounded.
Manufactured of high-quality, durable and fade- and stain-resistant material, the fully functional, cargo-style tactical pants and shirts have two tourniquets strategically built into each pant leg and shirt sleeve. They are quickly accessible behind Velcro-secured tabs, and can be applied with one hand under the worst of circumstances. Although most combat-style tourniquets lock only at a 90-degree parallel angle to the strap (and therefore will usually be a little looser or tighter than what’s desired), BLACKHAWK!’s system locks in place virtually anywhere in the 360-degree twist. Unlike many tourniquet systems, the I.T.S. can be repeatedly “applied” and released in training, allowing the wearer to instill an “automatic pilot”-level of competency with the system.
My only complaint with the I.T.S. line: The WARRIOR WEAR I.T.S. shirts and pants are currently only available in Military Khaki and SWAT Black. I would really like to see them made in dark blue for uniformed patrol officers. If you do wear black or khaki, I give this outstanding innovation my highest possible endorsement for everyone who can wear them.
To all SWAT teams and SWAT commanders: There is no logical reason for not transitioning your team to these uniforms immediately. Plus, after some quick research online, it appears that the WARRIOR WEAR I.T.S. shirts and pants are actually less expensive than many of their immediate competitor’s apparel—apparel that’s not equipped with the life-saving I.T.S. technology.
The blunt reality: You don’t get to make the choice of when or where you’re shot. Someone else will make that decision. But you can make the decision to be properly equipped should that fateful day come. This was confirmed for me (somewhat painfully) during my last paintball adventure. The first two paintball “wounds” I suffered would have shredded my femoral artery. My first thought: If this was real, and bullets rather than paintballs had hit me, I’d be in a major world of hurt. My second thought: If I were wearing Blackhawk!’s I.T.S. pants, it wouldn’t be nearly as bad of a situation.
The WARRIOR WEAR I.T.S. shirts and pants are available from Blackhawk.com. Also, check them out on YouTube.