Taking a look at a med kit by Safety First Medical. This is their “Everyday Emergency Response Kit” (EERK) or “Eric” for short and this is by far one of, if not my favorite med kit I've purchased to date. Safety First Medical is a company founded by a former Combat Medic, an AEMT/Vet. Tech and another EMT whose mission is to provide the best individual first aid kits (IFAKs) at the lowest price possible. Mission accomplished.
To be honest up front, I only skimmed over the contents of this kit before buying it, I was in it for the size/shape of the kit and after some interactions with the owners/founders, I wanted to support this company. I briefly scrolled through the list, saw key terms (or medical hype words) like "tourniquet," "combat gauze," "chest seals" and "duct tape" and I clicked purchase. So, the first time cracking this bad boy open was a bit of an overwhelming surprise for me.
The EERK came packed up nicely in a military grade, admin. style pouch. It was slightly bigger, thicker really, then I envisioned, but it ended up working perfectly for what I intended to use it for, which is to ride in a “duty bag” of sorts. It Comes with PVC American flag and red medical cross patches. Yay for patches.
On the bottom of the pouch, secured by two elastic straps is a NAR Gen 7 CAT tourniquet (you have the option between the CAT and SOF-T) and I was pleasantly surprised to find it was pre-staged and ready to go. What I found out while going through this kit, you could pull it out of the mail and it is immediately ready for use, although you should take some time and familiarize yourself with your kit. You may miss something… but more on that later.
The smaller front pouch was stocked with a Bleeding control guide, a chem light, a pair of Hyfin chest seals, various gauzes, gauze sponges and ABD/Combine pads as well as various wipes (antiseptic, alcohol prep and hand wipes). There’s also a baggy with basic OTC meds (Benadryl, ibuprofen, diotame, Tylenol and aspirin). I personally put one of the two pairs of nitrile gloves up front too.
Opening the main portion of the kit was like friggin' Christmas. Two, I said 2! rolls (obviously not full-sized rolls) of duct tape were in there, so you can fix essentially anything. A SWAT-T tourniquet, an NPA w/ lube, sterile gauze, combat gauze, two rolls of medical tape, forceps, a mylar blanket and a boo-boo kit with various band-aids, butterfly closures and a small vial of saline were all nicely stowed in a convenient manner. This is where both pairs of nitrile gloves were, and where one now resides.
Remember when I said you should familiarize yourself with your kit(s)? Well, here’s why:
After the first two passes through the EERK, I thought to myself, "Man, the only thing this is missing is an emergency bandage of some sort." Not that I wasn’t happy with what I had received, but that’s the only thing that really was missing. That's when I noticed a zipper pull in the bottom of the main section. Well, unzip that zipper and voila! Not one, but two emergency trauma dressings! This kit was full of pleasant surprises.
As far as mounting it goes, this pouch does not feature the fancy tear away Velcro panels that many of my other IFAKs have, but then again, it wasn’t my intention to mount this kit in such a way. The EERK included two grimloc d-rings and molle straps/webbing for mounting options. I chose to remove both the mole straps and the grimloc rings and opted for a braided 550 cord handle. This made the most sense functionally, as it is in a bag and a quick pull handle was going to work best for it.
The only thing it may have been missing (and I may have just put them off to the side during the unboxing and forgot they were in there) were trauma sheers. After breaking it down for the fourth or fifth time, I realized there weren't any, so I stuck some in the molle webbing. But again, I can neither confirm nor deny that they were missing from the kit. The unboxing was a little too exciting, as I purchased this during one of Safety First Medical's sweet deals where they send mystery or surprise goodies, and I’ve lost count of how many trauma sheers I own a few years back. The content list has them listed, so I’m sure they were in there. When I contacted them about the potentially missing shears, with in minutes they responded saying trauma shears do come with the kit, and if I was indeed missing them, Safety First would send out a pair.
Bottom line: If you need a one stop med kit that's good to go from the start, pick up this kit.
UPDATE: (pictures at bottom of the page)
After talking to the owner of Safety First Medical for a bit and a little remote R&D of sorts, they’ve updated the kit. I mirrored the updates and I am happy report that the kit now does not seem too big, thick or bulky. Removing a few redundant components slimmed the kit down to the size I was initially looking for. Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying, more is typically better with medical gear, but when it becomes a burden to carry, or is spewing out items when you open it, or you need your patient to sit on it in order for you to pack up and move on, then the extra items become more of a hinderance. I look at medical equipment as a step-up system. I carry minimal medical items on my person, i.e. cargo pockets and/or ankle IFAK. Those items get me by while someone can grab the next best thing, whether it be this kit where I staged it, or a trauma kit from the facility, or their personal med kit.