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Thread: System Collapse Medical: by Greg Ellifritz

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2022

    System Collapse Medical: by Greg Ellifritz

    Tactical First Aid/System Collapse Medical

    Active Response Training/Greg Ellifritz

    By: Matt Turner

    I responded to a post on Frank Wood’s Tactics and Applications page by a new person seeking training, that page is frequented by war fighters, LEO’s, industry professionals, and trainers; I mostly keep my mouth shut and learn. The person posting was a civilian, I happened to catch the post early, so I responded as a civilian who has been a “professional’” student for quite a long time.

    His question revolved around what types of classes to take, why, where to start, etc. My advice was, I typically take much more handgun than long gun, probably 5 to 1, as a pistol is what I have available on my person all of the time. Gun fights don’t usually start as gun fights, so take some empty hand/improvised weapons, (3 to 1 over gun courses). My last comment: “Medical is important; although I am personally weak on medical”.

    That last statement brought Mr. Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics to inquire of me, as well as send me down the path of taking this medical course. Caleb addressed me in a very professional, polite manner, yet what I understood was: If you are that serious about the volume of combatives training you attend, you really screwed up being so weak on your medical skills. I may not always be the smartest guy in the room, but when one of the smart guys says something important, I listen and follow directions.

    I immediately looked at Caleb’s site, saw he wasn’t coming close to the forsaken-area for training I live in, but that he and Greg Ellifritz had recently partnered on a course together in Texas. I have trained with Greg before and follow his “Knowledge Dump” each week, having been published there once previously. I saw he was teaching a medical course in Virginia, and promptly booked his course. I wasn’t going to be publicly called out by a storied industry professional and not take his advice; constant improvement is my goal and the gauntlet was thrown down.

    A friend, sparring/training partner of mine, Steve Herndon and I headed up to Springfield, VA, little did I know that Steven snores like a Tyrannosaurus with a deviated septum on a cheap-beer drunk, so I got very little sleep the night before the class. Another friend from the NoVA area I train with, Jay L. met us that morning at the instruction site. Jay, trains NoVA law enforcement officers during the week and offers open enrollment firearms courses on the weekends; awesome, knowledgeable guy.

    Course AAR: Greg opened the class with a query: “Show of hands if you are here for Wilderness Medicine, Tactical First Aid, Collapse of Society Medicine”. Most everyone raised a hand for all three. That’s something I see as a clue, a true master of the material, capable of tailoring the course to who is in attendance and their needs. Those in attendance were medical professionals, military, LEO, several folks worked for NGO’s traveling to dangerous destinations, a corporate EHS manager, a veterinarian, outdoors persons, and myself, a collector of unique skills.

    Covered material included “MARCH” as understood in Tactical Combat Casualty Care, to treat, assess, stabilize, how being under fire versus out of contact can change priorities and practices, and mass casualty triage assessment. Mass Bleeding with the application of Israeli Bandage, a lecture of the history, how to properly apply pressure dressings on others and ourselves, we also got some practice with the Marine Corps issued H Bandage, and the new OLAES pressure cup bandage.

    Moving to extremities, severe bleeding, and catastrophic amputations, Greg lectured on the proper use of tourniquets, the class ran exercises with different approved TQ’s including application on a partner and self. We practiced applying a makeshift TQ from material, if a manufactured version is not available. Steven chose to use a folding pocket knife as a windless, I used a pistol magazine, someone else nearby used their hand-held flashlight. We learned that at the Vegas concert mass shooting, mylar emergency blankets were cut up and used, as there were so many casualties, all the normal use items were exhausted.

    Each section of MARCH was covered in depth with solid visual materials to assist in understanding, and exercises to give participants some exposure to using the tools; NPA for airway management, treatment of sucking chest wounds/Tension Pneumothorax, air pressure in chest cavity causing a lung/breathing to not function correctly; use of chest seals, venting or burping that wound. Wound packing using gauze and blood clotting agents/gauze was covered and demonstrated with silicone wound blocks and video clips of live pigs during military training.

    The media presentations Greg created were impressive, providing solid real-world examples of injuries and how to apply the treatments we were being instructed on. While graphic, the injuries helped me understand what gunshots, blast injuries, and severe trauma care would look like, as well as assessing a scene/triage of victims. Hard for some to view, but it did enhance the learning process.

    After a lunch break, I very much enjoyed learning to apply sutures and staples, we used chicken parts to practice in place of a human patient. Besides spacing my sutures too close together, I found it was fairly easy for someone who barely passed home economics as a junior high schooler, (more of an issue with a new interest in girls than a lack of abilities). The wound closure portion of the lecture also included medical glue and Steri Strips. (A bit of advice for other novices, medical staples were far easier to use than stitching material).

    Lastly, Greg’s lecture on System Collapse Medicine was definitely the highlight of a very solid day. Caused by regional weather event, terror attack, mass casualty event, widespread infectious disease, etc. our hospital system may become overwhelmed or unavailable, locally or regionally; this section covered ways to get legal medication that would fall outside of a visit to a doctor/pharmacy. I will not disclose those methods here, but this section alone is worth attending the course. Greg also provided each student a CD ROM that covered all material in this course, videos, instructions and data vital to the last section. It also included where to acquire materials and medical kits.

    When I stated my medical was weak earlier in this article, I was intentionally vague, I have taken CPR, basic first aid, tactical oriented stop the bleed, and austere/wilderness medical/first aid; this course went far beyond anything I have studied previously. Steven, who is a registered nurse commented that the course went far beyond his medical background and was very enlightening. I pride myself on my fighting/self-defense skills, but it is unlikely I’ll ever use them to the extent of what I have obtained, the skills touched on in this course are much more likely to be useful in my every day travels. Caleb was correct and I am glad I took his advice.

    Greg’s teaching chops are outstanding, he is approachable as an instructor, is open to answering difficult questions, makes the difficult material enjoyable/entertaining, and has a friendly, engaging teaching style. I highly recommend you seek him out, I know this won’t be my last course from Active Response I attend.

  2. #2
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    This is on my list!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2022
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink View Post
    This is on my list!
    Greg typically offers that in NoVA through FPF/John Murphy as a two day, with his excellent blade defense course. Although, next year I understand he will accompany the Medical Course with Ground Fighting, which I will be attending. I took his knife course a few years back, it’s solid.

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