Why You Should Have An IFAK

Why You Should Always Have An IFAK

When a life-threatening emergency occurs whether from an automobile accident, an active shooter event or an industrial mishap, the most likely person to be the first on-scene is a civilian. Exsanguination can occur in just a few minutes and the ability of civilians to respond effectively to major bleeds is critical to saving lives. Even an EMT or paramedic with advanced training is likely to carry a simple IFAK on their person or in their vehicle, as major medical bags are too large to keep close at hand.

What Is An IFAK

Today, IFAK is usually understood to mean “Individual First Aid Kit”, or “Improved First Aid Kit”. But long before the acronym “IFAK” came into use, the military was issuing small kits designed to treat or prevent various illnesses and minor injuries. The “Kit, Jungle, First Aid” shown below is from the Vietnam era, and the contents reflect the then-current understanding of jungle combat risks.

What Is The Difference Between A Trauma Kits And An IFAK?

The answer to this question is relatively simple. An IFAK is designed to be a kit that should not be used except to treat YOURSELF. A trauma kit is designed to treat other people. Typically, an IFAK contains enough equipment to treat one person. The purpose of an IFAK is to have lifesaving equipment easily accessible in a situation where you may not be able to get help immediately. It normally consists of a tourniquet, wound packing gauze, trauma dressing, nasal airway, chest seal and sometimes gloves and a chest decompression needle. A trauma kit often contains enough equipment to treat more than one person. Trauma kits will often contain equipment that are not necessarily immediate needs like eye shields, splints and more bandages.

Decide On What You Want To Spend

It should go without saying but, if you are buying an IFAK, you’ve accepted on some level that you may need to use it some day.

The old adage of “you get what you pay for” can be doubly true for medical gear. Needless to say, you don’t want to skimp. 

Take A Course

The most important investment when it comes to buying an IFAK is buying the proper training to accompany it. 

Without the proper training, your investment in an IFAK can quickly become irrelevant. Having skills to competently use your IFAK is one of the best investments you can ever make. 

If you’re looking to take a course on IFAK use, one of the best places to start your search is with your local firearms training company. If they don’t provide that training, there is a chance that they