Having worked as a medic both in mainstream ambulance services and out in austere environments, I’ve learned that it’s not how much gear you can carry but how you can best utilise what you and your buddies already have with you.
I’ve had to put many kits together myself and much prefer the simple easily used stuff, over the complicated and overstuffed, expensive kits that a lot of so-called medical supply companies would have you buy from them.
My first medical kit was nothing more than a military field dressing taped to my shoulder strap. How things have moved on!
Now, my main work kit breaks down into sections based on the basic human needs of keeping air going in and out, and enough blood going round and round. In my view, everything else you do as a medic is really just an extension of this.
What activity you are doing and the level of risk you anticipate will pretty much dictate what sort of first aid kit you ought to be carrying.
I’m fortunate that for my Paramedic work, supplies of medical equipment are readily available to me, are of top quality, and fit for purpose. Good gear just isn’t cheap and medical gear especially isn’t either. However, when it comes to my life and those around me, cost seldom comes into it!
There are many suppliers that can sell you a first aid kit. Unfortunately, many of these kits are put together poorly and are bloated with items that give a higher perceived value, but
unfortunately many aren’t really that useful when faced with a real emergency.
Often the gear is of dubious origin and quality. I’ve been on projects where medical supplies have been crap!
I’ve been searching for a medical kit for a while now, one that can be easily carried, or left easily accessible in my truck and thats not been made in some third world sweat shop!
It needed to fit with my needs when away from my work, be adaptable and readily accessible. It needed to be stocked with good quality gear too.
I found My Medic
My Medic was founded in 2014 by Ryan Welch after a family tragedy, with the passionate aim to make a difference saving lives with what they say are “the best first aid kits on the planet.”
The Myfak is one kit in a larger range of medical kits that they make. I bought the Myfak and its smaller buddy The Shield as best suiting my lifestyle while away from work.
The MyFak kit I bought is the Advanced kit, (Choice of Basic or Advanced) It weighs in at just over 3 pounds and is housed in a weatherproof nylon zippered bag. I chose Black, although My Medic stock them in a range of colours including, “see me anywhere” orange.
The bag is well built out of 600D Nylon with a detachable panel that’s held on by velcro so you can attach it to a headrest, for really quick and easy access, or to the fuzzy material in your vehicle trunk. Two solid “D” rings give the option of putting on a shoulder strap and there’s also plenty of molle for attaching it to the outside of a pack. There’s also velcro and molle in abundance on the front so you can add another small kit to the outside, or patches if that’s your thing.
At only just over 3 pounds, it’s easily carried on a belt on in your daily carry. It’s perfect for in your vehicle.
Inside, the Myfak is set out methodically and intuitively. Although pretty tightly packed with all the essentials to treat injuries, there’s still some room to be able to add a little more, and there’s a fold-out detachable mesh pocket to help customise how you choose to rig it out.
The advanced kit does contain some gear that needs further training above the basic first aid level, although, I’d expect that most recent military will be familiar with these items, nasal airway and Quickclot as a couple of examples.
The included RATS tourniquet raised a few eyebrows with my work colleagues who advocate the CATT, but it’s worth noting that at the Boston Bombing in April 2013 that all the tourniquets used there were improvised and placed by laypeople, under extreme duress.
The RATS can be used on kids who have smaller diameter arms and legs, the CAT Tourniquet won’t work as effectively here. It can also be used on K9’s where the mainstream accepted devices won’t work.
Whilst many consider the CAT T as the Gold Standard, they are expensive and as such there are loads of counterfeits abound on eBay and Amazon!
Having a readily available tourniquet in your kit is a must-have in my view and there’s still plenty of room in the bag to place a CATT or SOF T if thats what you prefer.
RATS Application You Tube Video:
Here’s a full list of all the stuff inside both kits, you still get the essentials in the basic kit, but I’d definately add a tourniquet. The RATS fits neatly inside, and as previously stated, there’s still plenty of room for a CAT tourniquet if you prefer.
The quality of the equipment inside is top-notch. There’s no dodgy cheapo imported stuff and it complies with the current guidelines and regulations of OSHA and ANSI. All the smaller items are packed in ziplock bags to keep them clean, safe and accessible until required.
A great well thought out piece of kit with everything you need with none of the fluff that you don’t!
The My Medic Shield is a smaller individual kit (IFAK) Its a lot smaller than the MyFak and contains substantially less gear. It’s designed to provide you with just enough to treat major injuries for the time it takes an ambulance to arrive. No frills at all. It makes a useful alternative to the fully stocked MyFak which is why I’ve included it here.
It features a pull-down zippered flap to get at the gear inside quickly, and there’s enough space to add an extra dressing or two if you want. Attached to the velcro on the front is a small detachable pouch that holds the included RATS tourniquet. There’s a shoulder strap provided for you to fit and use if that’s your preference, as well as Molle clips to easily fix it to the outside of a pack or on a duty belt.
Mine fits neatly on my belt, and it’s also small and compact enough to fit in my EDC Bag so its there ready when I need it.
The Shield is also stocked with excellent quality medical kit:
Its pretty obvious to me thats there’s some clinical input from medical professionals here as both of these kits are well thought out, well built and stocked. There’s nothing cheap and nasty in these, just good quality, proper medical gear.
There’s enough spare room in both of them for some extra items if you desire, but in my view, this should be reserved for an extra trauma dressing or a tourniquet rather than filling up with band aids and the like. These are not those sort of kits!
(I’ve added a 36in. SAM splint to my Myfak which makes it a bit tight!)
Both kits are laid out intutively with quick and easy access to the quality contents when you need them, and although one downside of the Myfak might be its a bit on the heavy side for lightweight travellers, it’s only stocked with medical gear you would actually need and use in a real emergency.
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