AAR on the previous CWS Critical Care Concepts/Advanced Handgun class

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  • Combative W

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    Feb 14, 2013
    Just some feedback/AAR on the Critical Care Concepts/Advanced Handgun class put on by Combative Weapon Solutions and Nolatac Firearms Training in Houston, TX the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. Now a days, when someone actually takes the time out of their day to sit and write a AAR, it is a testament to us as a company and the training we provide.

    Lee Vernon
    Tactical Weapon Training Classes Austin Texas

    First AAR:

    Critical Care First Aid Concepts and Advanced Handgun
    Date: November 23rd and 24th 2013
    Instructors: Lee Vernon and Brannon LeBouef
    Location: Impact Zone Hempstead, TX
    Cost: $400
    200-300 rounds

    This class was a collaboration between Lee Vernon of Combative Weapon Solutions and Brannon LeBouef of NOLATAC. Lee who is a Austin, TX EMT of 20+ years taught the Critical Care portion of the class while Brannon taught the firearms portion. Both have a wealth of knowledge in both fields and worked well jumping in with each other while instructing and in discussions with the class. This was my first "trauma" class to take but after listening to respected friends and instructors I have come away with the view that in civilian life you will have a greater opportunity to use medical training than actually using a firearm in a lethal encounter. That said I'm not discounting firearms training and the fact that this was advanced handgun made it all the better. So the mindset I went into this class with was "if your going to know how to poke holes you better know how to plug them too."

    The class started with a general why are you here and what are you looking to get from the class. There were short intros and it was off and running. The amount of information covered was considerable but the way the curriculum was presented made it easy to take it in. Be ready to take notes! There is no way you can absorb the information without them and be ready for smoke flying off your pen! All kidding aside I took extensive notes and Lee provided us with the PowerPoint so I've been able to go back and fill some holes putting the two together. So here is just a list of what was covered:

    Ethics and legality
    Psychology and Physiology under stress
    Body Alarm Response
    Safety and scene considerations
    Situational Awareness
    Basic Anatomy and Physiology and Assessment
    Treatment of Systemic Injuries
    Tourniquets, Bandages, Hemostatic Agents, Occlusive Devices, Nasal Airway
    Minor Injuries
    Recovery Position
    Gunshot Wounds
    Stabbing/Impaled Objects
    Flail Chest
    Sucking Chest Wound (all chest wounds suck!)
    Tension Pneumothorax
    Facial Injuries
    Victim Movement
    Cover Vs. Concealment
    911 Communication

    So you can see there was a ton covered in the classroom. The fact that Lee is a EMT and Brannon a LEO there was a priceless amount of life experience and application that went with all the above. The rest of the day was spent in hands on training. Wound packing was practiced on a cut of beef that had a 9mm and 40 gunshot wounds. Tourniquets were applied to patients and to yourself using CAT, SOFTT-W, and SWAT-T. Nasal airway and bandages were preformed on Resusci Anne. The class was fairly small so the hands on portion was extensive and with lots of one on one with Lee and Brannon. I found while working with the different tourniquets putting them on others and applying them to myself which ones worked well for me in both circumstances and what ones are now in my IFAK's.

    The second day was on the range and started with the safety brief and covering the four life safety rules. We jumped right into shooting strong hand only and support hand only. This lead into manipulating your firearm with one hand. Can you reach the mag release or the slide release if you only have your support hand. What do you need to do if your slide doesn't lock back in a reload with one hand. Reloads with strong and support hand only. It was stressed that it's not about speed it's thinking through problem and solving it. One great thing about Lee and Brannon is there was no "you have to do it this way." Brannon stressed that you may have to go way outside the box to solve a problem but as long as you can do it safely make it work! So as if this wasn't enough tourniquets were introduced into the equation along with cover and concealment. So the evolution eventually was address the threat, find cover, address your injury, assess your firearm, and reassess the situation. We moved on into fighting from cover and concealment and shooting strong/support hand only and how to minimize your exposure to a threat. We broke for lunch and then the rain came, heavily. So heavily that the range was flooded and shooting wasn't going to happen. So it was back up fifteen yards and punt and Brannon and Lee incorporated some force on force training on a covered porch. Simunitions were used and this turned into a very intense training session. This is the way it unfolded. You were equipped with a Glock 17, 2 tourniquets, Israeli Bandage, and a chest seal. You were introduced to a scene where there could be one or multiple injuries. Patients may or may not be responsive, unknown subjects entering the scene, and unknown threats entering the scene. Needless to say it got chaotic, my first evolution I had one patient who was shot in the left leg, a little small hobbit looking guy wondering what was going on, a bad guy who returned to finish the job while I was treating the patient, and I got shot in the right arm! So this is where you had to put it all together. First neutralize the threat, get to cover/concealment, asses injuries (yours and theirs), reassess the situation. This by far put the whole class together for me. The class ended with a debrief where we were all asked for a positive and a negative on the class. I think this is great because it's a opportunity to tell Lee and Brannon what you liked and what you feel can be improved

    I could go on for days on what I learned from this class and obviously this is a AAR and I don't want to drone on. Here it is. TAKE THIS CLASS!!!!! If you carry a gun you should be carrying a medical/IFAK kit of some kind. Who knows when/where/how you will use it. I'm a truck driver by trade and who knows when I will roll up on a accident where I can at least help someone till the professionals get there. It's all about mindset. If you are going to put all that effort into training put the same amount of effort into training that can save a person too! Just my two cents. If you are wondering if you get your money's worth, a thousand times yes. Lee and Brannon put on a exceptional class and I will be training with both of them again.

    Nathan Neff


    Combative W

    Rating - 0%
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    Feb 14, 2013
    And a second AAR from the class.

    Lee Vernon
    Tactical Weapon Training Classes Austin Texas

    So many things I walked away with from that class, not the least of which is that I have more confidence just driving down the road that if a situation arose I'm confident I'd be an asset rather than a burden or liability to someone. I learned things that I never thought I'd know or even want to know. Did things I never imagined I could do. I know I'm even a better asset to my family in my own home.
    When I've talked to people about the class I can't sing y'all's praises enough. Hell, people are so surprised at what we were doing and what we were doing it in - but I wanted to say bring it on. It was cold, it was raining, and just like any other day - we don't get to choose the situation. I have a select few guys sitting on my shoulder at all times, one of them being Ben, and I've learned not to make excuses but to make opportunities to learn and train past my barriers, breaking points, physical sometimes but mental the most.
    I enjoyed all parts of that class. I like classroom bc I dig learning and getting that info down so I can reference it later. On the line I appreciate that we moved pretty quickly so I didn't have time to get bored or irritated with myself or concentrate too hard on what I was doing; typically my downfall.
    L O V E D the finals, although, right before I went each time I felt like I was going to pee my pants. Lucky y'all I didn't. I got to see where my failure points were; example: getting easily frustrated with the tourniquet bc I knew I knew how to use it - and what my natural tendencies were; example: first time Brannon walked up and talked to me over the concealment I ignored him bc I usually don't ask for help, I do things by myself. And what a freaking rush it was. Was SO proud of myself that I was accurate under stress and got multiple hits on Brannon both times with minimal effort, one malfunction and no mag changes.
    One of the coolest classes, felt 10 feet tall when I left - full of info, not bullshit. Would totally do it again, and I already told you were are planning on your class next year with Kerry Davis.
    Thank you and Brannon for the opportunity to learn from your wealth of knowledge. Thank you for being such a cool, approachable guy who was willing to listen and teach.
    Much appreciated and see you soon.
    Jessica Ewing



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