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Equipped to Respond

Supplies and Equipment for Medical Response

Medical Response in Churches

 First aid bag with supplies

And Isaiah said, “Bring a cake of figs. And let them take and lay it on the boil, that he may recover.” ~ Isaiah 20:7

MIs there no balm in Gilead? ~ Jeremiah 8:22

He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. ~ Luke 10:34

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. ~ 1 Timothy 5:23

I counsel you to buy from me ... salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. ~ Revelation 3:18

Importance of Being Equipped

A person trained to respond to injuries and medical emergencies may know what to do, but not have what is needed at the time. Some things can be improvised from what is available, and may save a life or limit the extent of damage, but what can be done is limited, and some emergency procedures, such as defibrillation, cannot be performed without the right equipment.

Ancient Medical Supplies and Equipment

Additionally (as we know from other ancient sources), some kind of dressing was used to bandage cuts. Binding material (cloth or cords) was used to wrap and splint broken limbs. Water-soaked cloth cooled fevers and countered heat exhaustion.

Medical Equipment and Supplies for Church Security

Before deciding what equipment and supplies to get for our Church Safety Team, two questions need to be answered:

(1) How do equipment and supplies differ?

(2) What injuries and medical emergencies are we likely to encounter?

How do equipment and supplies differ?

Equipment is durable - it can be reused. Supplies are expendable - they are used up. For instance, a stethoscope can be used hundreds of times, a bandage only once. Some items may be equipment or supplies, depending a lot on how they are made and used. For instance, scalpels and needles used to be autoclaved (sanitized by heat) and re-used. Now they are disposable to avoid any possibility of contamination by blood-borne pathogens. A flashlight is durable, but the batteries need to be replenished.

What injuries and medical emergencies are we likely to encounter?

Some are or may be intentional:

Besides injuries, we may need to respond to medical emergencies:

Recommended Equipment & Supplies

Items which are available through the Sheepdog Church Security Store[1] on Amazon are noted.

Automated External; Defilbrillator AED - An Automated External Defibrillator is used in response to arterial fibrillation. It monitors the heart to precisely time a pulse to stop and restart the heart. This is equipment which requires training. One available at the SDCS Store is the Philips HeartStart Home Defibrillator[2].

Medical/First Aid Kits Medical/First Aid Kits - This is the basic supply resource for a "Code Blue" response. It should have the supplies you will need in an emergency. Several are available, both online and in stores. But this is not your home & travel First Aid kit. It should meet the needs of an institution, such as a church. Brotherhood Mutual, a church insurance company, says,

". . . churches should stock first-aid kits, Edmonds said. He recommends not buying them from the local department store. Instead, you should purchase an institutional first-aid kit, which is larger and more comprehensive. Contact a professional first-aid kit supplier, such as Afassco, Zee Medical, or Cintas, for assistance. Also buy a CPR kit, which includes protective airway masks to help prevent mouth-to-mouth contamination."[3]

Pocket CPR MasksPocket CPR Masks - CPR masks protect both the responder and the subject in the mouth-breathing portion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Considering the cost, it would be tempting to try to clean and re-use. At the very least, the filter should be changed. However, effective cleaning of the mask itself is not guaranteed, so it is advisable to use a new CPR mask for the next person. Available at the SDCS Store is the MCR Medical CPR Rescue Mask, Adult/Child Pocket Resuscitator, Hard Case with Wrist Strap.[4]

Pocket Knife or Multi-ToolPocket Knife or Multi-Tool - This is the be-all, do-all, fix-it-all tool for all kinds of handy-dandies (a.k.a. "handypersons"). The two best-known brands are Leatherman and the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. There are other quality brands too, such as Gerber, and RAVpower.

Another type of multi-tool is the tactical pen, which not only writes, but has tools included, which may include flashlight, glass breaker, and a cutter. In a "Code Blue" situation, these can cut restraints (such as a seat belt), open a supply packet, break the window of a wrecked car, etc.

A pocket knife can also be used in rescues and treating injuries. A Schrade tactical knife is available on the SDCS Amazon Store.[5]

ResQMe Life-Saving ToolResQMe Life-Saving Tool - This can break into a car to rescue an occupant.

Compression BandagesCompression Bandages - In the second article in this series - Stanch the Flow - we dealt with how to stop bleeding. The first means is compression of the cut. Compression bandages are made expressly for this function. The Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing First Aid Compression Bandage can be found on the SDCS Store.[6]

TourniquetTourniquet - Tourniquets of one kind or another have been used since ancient times to stop bleeding by pinching off the supply of blood to a wound. Many items can be used for a tourniquet, but ready-made ones are available, such as the Recon Medical BLK-1PAK-FBA Tourniquet[7] and the RATS Rapid Application Tourniquet System[8].

Dispolsable GlovesDisposable Gloves - This is a first-line defense against contamination of open wounds and contact with body fluids (such as blood). Latex gloves have long been used, but some persons have latex allergies, so other materials are generally used for prophylactic gloves. The two most common are vinyl and nitrile. The SDCS Store has Nitrile Exam Gloves that are medical grade, powder free, latex rubber free, and disposable.[9]

Medical Transpot ChairMedical Transport Chair - For some injuries and medical emergencies, the patient cannot walk, but can be moved. In these situations, a wheelchair is useful. Even better is a transport chair designed for firefighters and EMTs, such as the LINE2design EMS Stair Chair 4-Wheels - Ambulance Firefighter Evacuation Medical Transport Chair With Quick Release Buckles.[10]

Poket FlashlightPocket Flashlight - A pocket flashlight, such as the Maglite Mini PRO LED[11], is useful in examining an injured or ill person. In a lights-out situation, it can locate needed items and illuminate your work.

Other recommended items include:

Stay Fresh

To always be ready, check the medical supplies frequently. Refill items which have been used, replace any which are date expired.


Sheepdog Church Security Online Training

- Church Safety and Security Volunteer Academy

Hear Kris and Ron discuss this topic on the Church Security Roll Call podcast At the end of the podcast is the key to this month's special resource.