Like Pavlov's dog instinctively salivating at the sound of a dinner bell, many California residents — this author included — tend to cringe any time a new bill is introduced to the state legislature. After all, the Golden State has a long track record of introducing (and passing) bills which criminalize firearm ownership and hamstring its law-abiding citizens' ability to defend themselves. So, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear about California AB-909, a bill which may actually have the potential to save lives in the wake of mass-casualty events.

first-aid-kit-buyers-guide

You may have a basic first-aid kit with medications and ointments, but major trauma requires specialized tools.

It goes without saying that, as preppers, we should all be carrying the tools to deal with a variety of medical emergencies. This means taking individual responsibility to carry a basic medical kit in your bug-out gear for cuts, scrapes, and bruises. It also means preparing for the worst-case scenario: life-threatening trauma, such as that caused by a gunshot wound. That's why including an individual first-aid kit (IFAK) with a tourniquet and bandages as part of your every-day carry is prudent. Unfortunately, not everyone shares this mindset of personal preparedness, and the lives of innocents may be lost if these essential tools are unavailable in times of crisis.

California Assembly Bill 909, also known as the Tactical Response to Traumatic Injuries Act, addresses this problem by proposing  the mandatory placement of first aid trauma kits in certain public buildings. Like fire extinguishers or automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs), these kits would be accessible to members of the public in an emergency.

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Under AB-909, at least two tourniquets would be included with each public-access trauma kit.

According to Assemblyman Marc Steinorth (R – Rancho Cucamonga), who introduced the bill, “the importance of access to tools like tourniquets and pressure dressings in a convenient pack, combined with proper training, could help a co-worker or colleague stabilize a gunshot victim long enough for EMTs or medical personnel to arrive. …  These kits will cost little and require a minimum amount of supplies. … The policy also urges training and information stored with each kit.”

You can read the full text of the latest revision of AB-909 here, but here's the gist of it:

  • A trauma kit would contain at least two tourniquets, two pressure dressings, four chest seals, instructional documents, and other related medical equipment as approved by local law enforcement or first responders.
  • Trauma kits will be inspected and restocked on a set schedule.
  • Tenants of the building will be notified yearly of trauma kit location(s) and provided with contact information regarding training programs.
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Basic training documentation, such as these “Stop the Bleed” flyers, will also be included in each kit.

As for the mandatory placement of these kits, the initial text of the bill was revised slightly. The first version of AB-909 would have required building managers to acquire and place a kit in public buildings constructed on or after January 1, 2018. The new version tones this down slightly, stating that the State Fire Marshal and other governmental organizations will “research and collect public input [to determine] if mandatory or voluntary building standards should be adopted regarding the placement of trauma kits.” However, it also expands to cover any public building constructed, altered, or significantly repaired after January 1, 2018.

While AB-909 is still up in the air for California, if it becomes a law it may encourage other states to follow suit. California is still infamous for being a nanny state with draconian gun laws, but if this bill is implemented, it could ironically serve as one small step towards preparing its residents for the worst. Now, if only the state's lawmakers could apply a similar mindset to firearms…

So, what do you think of this proposed bill? Let us know in the poll below, and add a comment with your rationale.


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