Knowing when and where to implement various techniques is one of many important aspects of tactical medicine. In a previous entry, we discussed weapons placement during treatment. We proposed positioning your primary weapon behind your knees when the tactical situation allows. The video below is a prime example of when this technique should not be used. The medic is supposed to be in the Care Under Fire (CUF) phase. In this phase of tactical medicine, while treating in the prone position, your weapon should be immediately accessible and ready to engage threats. Due to positioning, you do not have rapid access to your secondary weapon. Slinging your weapon is not a sound choice, because its position will hinder putting it into operation. Your best choice in this situation may be to un-sling your weapon and route your arm through the sling. Don’t, however, put the sling all the way on. Next, set the weapon on your casualty, making an effort not to burn them with a hot barrel. Routing your arm through the sling maintains a point of attachment and acts as a friendly reminder; however, it doesn’t interfere with your ability to provide treatment. When you move, your weapon will still move with you and is readily accessible for periodic engagements.
Most courses teach not to use your casualty as a work table or place supplies and equipment on them. This is a good habit to get into, but this is a definite exception. Your weapon is now a lifeline for you and your casualty, and it needs to be readily accessible.
TacMed Key Points:
1) Situation dictates weapons placement
2)CUF phase requires your weapon to be accessible no matter your position
3)In order to increase your and your casualty’s chance of survival, you may have to “break a rule” and use him as a table or a firing platform.