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Hello and welcome to Swift | Silent | Deadly, a personal blog by me, Justin Fields. As a former Marine Corps Special Operations member, government contractor, and professional trainer, I’m on a mission to help others become more capable and competent human beings. Read more about me.

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The Latest

Preparing for Acute Events (i.e. the Election)

It is widely acknowledged that violence is a distinct possibility around this year’s election season. Even mainstream outlets allow for the possibility of violence regardless of who wins. On top of this there are a possible surge of COVID cases, a continuation of ongoing rioting/unrest, an extremely lively hurricane season, wildfires engulfing tens of thousands of acres in the U.S…. Need I go on? Hopefully, if nothing else, 2020 has encouraged us to be more prepared for acute events, both short- and long-term.

EMT vs. Paramedic: What’s the Difference?

I recently had lunch with fellow gun blogger (videographer?) and all-around good guy, Chris Baker. Chris and I were catching up after not having seen each other in quite a long time. I mentioned my EMT/Paramedic training track and at some point he asked, “are EMT and paramedic different things?” This is a really common question I get from people outside emergency services, so I thought I’d quickly run down some quantifiable differences for you.

Hiking Emergency & Recovery Protocols

Last weekend we did a very difficult hike. Actually, to be honest we didn’t complete it. Despite hiking every week, and rucking on our road at least a couple days a week, we were turned back after four miles, 4,000 feet of elevation gain, and some extremely rugged terrain. On our walk back we began talking about what we would do if one of us was injured. We also talked about some emergency protocols we had already put into place.

Beyond the IFAK: Home Medical Gear

The IFAK (individual first aid kit) has become extremely popular. A number of companies sell purpose-built, military-style IFAKs for civilian use. Many more sell IFAK components. Numerous methods of carry, including wallet kits and ankle rigs have proliferated. I think that’s fantastic. Unfortunately I think the twin Gospels of the Tourniquet and the IFAK aren’t the end of the story as far as first aid for the well-prepared is concerned.

Waterproofing a Backpack

After a recent SAR call-out I decided that I needed to waterproof my All Purpose EDC pack. We were deployed two hours away from home. We stepped into the woods at 2200 and walked three miles into the woods in pitch darkness. After a Blackhawk helicopter had hoisted the patient and the rescue was over, we walked back out. After about 12 hours total I got home around 0730. It wasn’t the rain that made me realize the need for waterpoofing, it was the river crossing.