Tactical Response – Immediate Action Medical

Recently I drove down to little Camden, Tennessee to take a few classes with Tactical Response: Fighting Pistol and Immediate Action Medical.  For those of you who are not familiar with Tactical Response, it is a training company run by James Yeager: former civilian contractor, controversial YouTube user, and controversial human being for that matter.  :)

I went to this class because, as you all know, I teach concealed carry classes and well as run the Bloomington IDPA.  I am around firearms constantly and I want to be prepared in case the worst happened.

So let’s break it down to the Who? What? Where? When? and Why?:

WHO?

Who needs to take this class?

Absolutely everyone.  Even if you are not a “gun person” you need this class.  Guns play a very small roll in this class, it is focused on rendering aid to yourself and others.  These skills transfer to treating victims of car accidents, industrial accidents, and more!

If you are in a solo car-accident, and you are the only one who can render yourself aid, you will need this class.

It is often said that if you have the ability to induce trauma, you should have the ability to treat trauma.  I cannot agree with this statement more!

Who are the type of people that took the class?

There was a range of students at the class.  Most of the students were just regular people: architects, IT guys, corrections officers, college students, retirees, competitive shooters, some military, and more!  Most were very nice and polite, great conversation was had, and I made a few friends.

There were a few “I’m more tactical than thou.” people in class, but you will get that anywhere.  My advice is to not worry about what the “tacticool” guys think and just focus on what you are there to do, train to make yourself better and prepared.

My primary focus was on treating trauma that I am most likely to come across.  As I teach my concealed carry classes and run the IDPA club, more than likely what I would face is a gun shot wound.

Who taught the class?

Unfortunately, throughout my 5 days in Camden, TN, I never did get to meet the man himself, James Yeager.  He was out traveling.  This does not mean that I received a lesser quality product from Tactical Response.

The class was taught by Calvin Lim, Jordan Winkler, and The Dave Biggers Experience.  All of the instructors brought their own dynamic to the class:  Calvin lead the class and was precise and firm in his instruction, Jordan was a bit more soft spoken, and The Dave Biggers Experience added comedy, but when the time came he could be very serious.

All of the instructors care deeply about the success of their students, and it shows!  You may be called a bonehead or a dumb-ass, but when you correct whatever it was you were doing wrong, you are always met with a “good job” or a couple of pats on the shoulder.

WHAT?

What did you do to prepare for the class?

I had been wanting to build out a trauma kit for a very long time, and I debated building one before I went to the class so I cold practice with the kit i put together.  In the end I realized it it was going to be more beneficial to wait until after class to build out the kit and here is why:

  • I found out what I needed and what I didn’t need, and why.
  • I learned what I liked and didn’t like, and why.
  • I learned how to properly use the gear before I ordered it and it just sat idle.

My advice would be to take the class before ordering anything.  As part of the class you do receive a Ventilated Operators Kit (VOK) to use in the class, more information on the VOK can be found here.

What did you do in class?

We started off by going over various legal and moral ramifications of giving aid.  This included the good samaritan laws.  We also covered the why and how to protect yourself first when rendering aid.  After this we discussed the initial assessment of the patient, this included assessing current and potential future danger from bad guys and environmentals.  Bad guys were the the number one focus.  In a class about injuries that were induced from gun shots and knife wounds, this made a lot of sense!

We also covered all of the items that were in the VOK and how to use them:

  • Tourniquets.  The kit includes a TK4 tourniquet which we used repeatedly in class for several drills: blood loss, amputation, etc.
  • H-Bandage.  We used these repeatedly in class as well over several drills, we duct-taped the bandage because otherwise they would come apart for the drills.
  • Gauze.  The gauze that comes in the VOK is regular gauze, no quick-clot added.  We also used this for several drills.  How I simulated it was to make a fist over the “wound” and pack it into my fist.  I was really surprised as to how much gauze you could pack into a wound.
  • NPA.  The NPA tube is inserted into the nasal passage to create an airway.  We did have to use the NPA from the VOK.  I had to use the included surgical lube to insert it into another student’s nose.  It was not the most comfortable thing in the world, and if you are prone to easy nose bleed’s you may ask to sit this one out.  There was one student in class who when he removed his tube, he had in instant stream of blood come out of his nose.  He was fine.
  • Needle.  A 14 gauge needle is included in the VOK.  This is for decompressing a tension pneumothorax.  We used an already open needle on some pork ribs.  We had to locate the third rib and insert the needle.  Obviously it is easier to do on non-moving ribs.  In the real world your patient is going to be gasping and moving.
  • Occlusive Dressing.  This is used for sealing off a chest, abdomen, or neck wound.  It can be sealed with duct tape.  Or you can use a commercial chest seal like the Halo chest seal.  A commercial dressing is not included in the VOK, but you can use the packaging as an occlusive dressing.
  • Also in the VOK was a pair of gloves, safety pins, duct tape, and alcohol wipes.

What did you think of the training?

The training was fantastic and worth every penny.  I came out with much more knowledge than I went in with.  If I had to rate the training: 5 stars, 10/10, 100%, A+.  The instructors were great, provided individual attention, and ate dinner and lunch with the students.  This gave us all an opportunity to meet and get to know each other and ask questions of the instructors.  You will enjoy this training regardless of your previous training experience.  I plan to, and have, practice the drills we did in class, in order to get those actions into my muscle memory.

Tactical Response – Team Room

Recently I drove down to little Camden, Tennessee to take a few classes with Tactical Response: Fighting Pistol and Immediate Action Medical.  For those of you who are not familiar with Tactical Response, it is a training company run by James Yeager: former civilian contractor, controversial YouTube user, and controversial human being for that matter.  :)

James and his wife Rebecca allow students to stay in their home, in the basement free of charge while you are in Camden taking a class.  This is a great opportunity for students to network and meet each other as well as save quite a bit of money!

So let’s break it down to the Who? What? Where? When? and Why?:

WHO?

Who can stay in the team room?

Anyone who is taking a class at Tactical Response is welcome to stay in the Team Room.  Priority for bunks is given to those who have class in the morning.  If you are staying overnight and leaving in the morning, offer your bunk to someone who has class the next day.  You can arrive the night before class and stay in the Team Room.

Who can I expect in the team room?

There will be students taking all sorts of classes, with all sorts of experience in the Team Room.  Soak up all the knowledge you can from the students who are taking different classes!

WHAT?

What is the Team Room?

The team room is the basement of the private residence of James and Rebecca Yeager.  They have kindly opened up their home to students to stay in free of charge.

What amenities are there in the Team Room?

  • Showers.  One downstairs, one upstairs.
  • Kitchenette.  There are some racks with food and spices.  There is also a refrigerator you can use to keep food and beer cold.  GUNS MUST BE PUT AWAY IF YOU POP A TOP ON A BEER.
  • WiFi.  There is WiFi, there is a note on a wall with the network name and password.
  • Power.  Each bunk that I saw had a power strip by it.  It probably would not be a bad idea to bring one along though.
  • Bunks.  There are 12 bunks available plus the couches.  There is a sheet on the bunks but that is it, they do have racks of blankets and pillows and towels, but bring your own.  I have no idea when they wash them.
  • Reading lights.  Some bunks have them, some don’t.

What should I do when I arrive?

I would say the first thing you should do i make sure there is space for you to stay first.  If you reserved a spot when you registered for class, you should be good.  Don’t count on a spot being there when you arrive.  If you do this, bring at least one bag of your stuff in when you check it out, that way you can claim a bunk and then bring the rest of your gear in, setup your space, lay your stuff out for the next morning and be ready to go.

When you arrive, park in the driveway on the left, it slopes down behind the house.  Do not park in the driveway on the right, that is for James and Rebecca.

Read the rules.  There are some posters hanging up with the rules printed on them.  Read them and don’t break them.

Be sure to introduce yourself and meet the other people in the class.  They are friendly and always willing to have conversation.

WHERE?

Where is the Team Room?

When you register for class and request the Team Room, Marilyn or Keri should give you the address.  Google Maps will take you straight there if you type in the address.  DO NOT USE APPLE MAPS IN CAMDEN (or anywhere else for that matter, you’ll end up in a damn lake).  Every time I rode with someone who was using Apple Maps in Camden, we went to the wrong place.

Where is the classroom from the Team Room?

It is about 8 minutes away.  Get directions from someone else in the Team Room or follow them to class.

WHEN?

When can I stay in the Team Room?

Any student who is taking a Tactical Response class can stay in the Team Room during the duration of the class.  You can arrive the night before and crash on a bunk or the couch.  You can also stay the night your class is over if you plan on leaving the next morning.  If you do not have class the next day, give your bunk to someone who does.

Alumni can also stay in the team room if they are assisting with a class or if they are just traveling through Camden.  Not sure who just travels through Camden, but you can if you need to.

WHY?

Why stay in the Team Room?

  • It is free.  Yup, free.  Donations are strongly encouraged and recommended.  I bet it is expensive to maintain that room.
  • Networking. You will meet really good people from all over, they will quickly become friends!  You will also learn things from other students who are taking different classes.
  • Homework.  Some classes have homework, many hand makes light work!

BOTTOM LINE

Stay in the Team Room.  If you find it isn’t for you, stay in a hotel.

 

 

Tactical Response – Fighting Pistol Class Review

Recently I drove down to little Camden, Tennessee to take a few classes with Tactical Response: Fighting Pistol and Immediate Action Medical.  For those of you who are not familiar with Tactical Response, it is a training company run by James Yeager: former civilian contractor, controversial YouTube user, and controversial human being for that matter.  🙂

I went in to the class not expecting it to make me the best IDPA shooter, or the fastest shooter, that is not what the class is for.  I expected to learn how to use a handgun in a gun fight if I ever had to do so.  I received all of that, and a lot more!

So let’s break it down to the Who? What? Where? When? and Why?:

WHO?

Who should take this class?

Anyone who wants to learn to survive a gun fight.  It is that simple.  I learned about what it takes to survive and that the best way to survive a gun fight, it to not be in one.  If you are a new concealed carrier, a law enforcement officer, or handgun beginner, you will get something out of this class.

Who are the type of people who take the class?

There was a range of students at the class.  Most of the students were just regular people: architects, IT guys, corrections officers, college students, retirees, competitive shooters, some military, and more!  Most were very nice and polite, great conversation was had, and I made a few friends.

There were a few “I’m more tactical than thou.” people in class, but you will get that anywhere.  My advice is to not worry about what the “tacticool” guys think and just focus on what you are there to do, train to make yourself better and prepared.

My primary focus was on concealed carry.  I am not a contractor, i carry a concealed gun to protect my life and the lives of those around me.

Who taught the class?

Unfortunately, throughout my 5 days in Camden, TN, I never did get to meet the man himself, James Yeager.  He was out traveling.  This does not mean that I received a lesser quality product from Tactical Response.

The class was taught by Jay Gibson, Tim Morris, Calvin Lim, Jordan Winkler, and The Dave Biggers Experience.  All of the instructors brought their own dynamic to the class:  Jay was quiet and delivered great dead-pan comedy, Tim was gruff and cursed like a sailor, Calvin was quiet but precise and firm in his instruction, Jordan was a bit more soft spoken, and The Dave Biggers Experience added comedy, but when the time came he could be very serious.

All of the instructors care deeply about the success of their students, and it shows!  You may be called a bonehead or a dumb-ass, but when you correct whatever it was you were doing wrong, you are always met with a “good job” or a couple of pats on the shoulder.  Especially from Jay, he is a touchy-feely guy.

WHAT?

What about Gear?

I used my everyday concealed carry gear.  I carry a Glock 19 with Warren Tactical sights, Alien Gear holster (Gen 1 with metal clips), SOE EDC Belt, BladeTech mag pouch, and TulAmmo steel cased from LuckyGunner.com.  The Glock ran like a Glock should, tough as hell.  It should be noted that we shot in the rain and mud.  Every time we would reload, the mags would hit the muddy ground, we would have to retrieve the mags and then rinse them off.

After a few hours of putting mud in our guns, everyone’s guns (regardless of manufacturer: Glock, Sig, S&W, Ruger) failed at some point in some way.  My Glock would sometimes fail to feed and I had one stovepipe.  There was a bucket of water where we could rinse our mags, and a remote table where we could rinse out guns.

Overall, all the gear survived.  The Glock ran fantastic through mud and water over the 1000 rounds I shot.  The sights stayed on even after dropping the gun (on purpose) several times and repeated racking the slide with the rear sight off the belt.  I did learn the failure point of my gun though in relationship to the mud, and that is an important thing to know.

I did notice some other students with stock Glock sights have issues.  One of the well known issues with Glocks are the cheap plastic sights.  The rest of the Glock is fantastic, but the sights are always the first thing to go for a lot of Glock owners.  A student had their rear sight fly off while racking the slide off of the belt.  My Warren Tactical sights are metal and held up just fine, just some scratches and small cosmetic damage (but who cares about that).

The Alien Gear holster did fine, it never came off the belt during drawing and just got a bit dirty from holstering a muddy gun.  The SOE EDC belt ran, like all SOE gear, flawless.  The TulAmmo shot just fine, not one failure to fire.

What did you learn?

It is hard to quantify everything!  Those of you who have heard the phrase “it’s like drinking from a fire hose” will know what I am talking about.  Tactical Response has their own way of doing things (obviously) and I personally did not agree with everything they taught, but I did things their way for the time I way there (that’s what I paid them for), so as I go through what was taught, keep in mind that I am referring to the Tactical Response way and not specifically to what I do.

  • We learned to draw the pistol and how to clear a cover garment.
  • We learned some biology, not Tim running around without pants, but where to place shots on a human body to effectively stop a threat.
  • Safety (Tactical Response style)
  • Sight alignment, grip, trigger control, sight picture, etc.
  • Re-holstering.
  • Emergency and Speed reloads.
  • Malfunction clearing.
  • Legal and moral aspects of deadly force.
  • Dealing with the police, 911, and lawyers.
  • Honestly, there is so much material it is hard to cover in one blog post…

What did you think of the training?

The training was fantastic and worth every penny.  I came out with much more knowledge than I went in with.  If I had to rate the training: 5 stars, 10/10, 100%, A+.  The instructors were great, provided individual attention, and ate dinner and lunch with the students.  This gave us all an opportunity to meet and get to know each other and ask questions of the instructors.  You will enjoy this training regardless of your previous training experience.  I plan to, and have, practice the drills we did in class, in order to get those actions into my muscle memory.

What didn’t you like?

There were a few things I was not a fan of.  I think the biggest thing was malfunction clearing and reloading.  In class, every time you reload your gun, you rack the slide.  And you reload after every drill.  It does not matter if there is a round in the chamber or not.  This means for every drill, every re-load, you lose a live round to the ground.  This seems like a waste to me, I want every round I can get in a gun fight.

Tactical Response’s reasoning behind this is that they only have to teach one method of loading the gun.  It keeps things simple, and when you are in a gun fight, simple is better than complicated.  With adrenaline running through your body you will not remember if there is a round in the chamber or not, so put in a new mag and rack the slide to be sure.  Tactical Response does not feel losing one round will make a difference in a gun fight.  In class, I must have lost 100+ rounds to the muddy ground.  Some students would skip the racking the slide step to preserve that round, but if they did, an instructor would be on them so fast.  I just kept hearing Calvin yell “We are not losing a round, we are loading our guns!”

For most of the malfunctions, we were instructed to “tap, rack, fight”.  For a failure to feed (Type 1), that makes perfect sense, but for a stovepipe (Type 2)?  What they had us do to clear a stove pipe was rotate the gun so that the ejection port was pointed towards the ground, then tap, rack, fight.  It worked, but would cause the loss of a round.  Again, I did all of the malfunction clearing the way I was instructed except for my one non-intentional stovepipe.  I did sweep that stovepipe clear and continued to fight, it was my immediate reaction to sweep it clear.

The last thing I was not a fan of was the communication / correspondence.  I did have a few emails go unanswered.  I know that happens every so often, I’m guilty of it.  It is best to probably call and get whatever questions you have answered over the phone.  Be nice to Marilyn and she will be nice back.  🙂

WHERE?

Where is the class?

All classes start at the Tactical Response gear store and the address is on their website.  Google Maps took me straight there with no problem.  When you search on Google Maps, type in the address directly, DO NOT JUST TYPE IN “TACTICAL RESPONSE”.  It will take you to the middle of no where.  If you are staying in the Team Room (more on that later), Google Maps will take you straight there if you type in the address.  DO NOT USE APPLE MAPS IN CAMDEN (or anywhere else for that matter, you’ll end up in a damn lake).  Every time I rode with someone who was using Apple Maps in Camden, we went to the wrong place.

The range that is used for Fighting Pistol is easy to get to, they give you directions and you can also follow someone who knows where they are going.

Where did you stay?

I stayed in the Tactical Response Team Room.  There will be more information about the team room in another post.

WHEN?

When did you take the training?

I took the training in March of 2015.  I did this on purpose because Tennessee summers are really, really hot.  In the spring and fall it is nicer.  This saves you the hassle of dehydration, sweat, and stink.  I really recommend going to Fighting Pistol in the spring or fall.

WHY?

Why did I decide to take this class?

I only knew about Tactical Response from their YouTube videos, and I knew James Yeager was controversial in the training world.  So naturally i investigated and decided to try it out.  I have been looking for a course for a while and I got a buy one get one half off deal; so I also took Immediate Action Medical.  That review will be coming soon.  I did look at other reviews and saw all positive experiences.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Be sure to bring your lunch and any snacks.  They do break an hour for lunch, and you can go offsite.  But the people and discussions that happen back at the range are great.  And if you finish lunch early and there is an instructor present, you can get more practice in.
  • The instructors are very friendly, we had dinner with them each night, sometimes at their house.
  • Bring at least 6 magazines.  You will have time to reload magazines in between shooting sessions, but it is easy to just remove all of your partial magazines off your body (not your gun) and put full fresh ones on.  Once you swapped mags, then you can load the partials.
  • Expect to get dirty / muddy.  You will be shooting lying on your side, on you back, and maybe some other positions, your clothes will get dirty, maybe ripped or torn.  Don’t wear clothes you would mind losing.
  • Network!  Be sure to give people business cards for later communication, add them on social networks, and talk after class!  If you stay in the team room, sign a bunk and sign the guest book!
  • Bring cleaning and lubrication materials!  If it is raining and you are in the mud, your gun is going to malfunction.  If you have time, wipe it off and field strip it to add more lube that was probably washed away.

BOTTOM LINE

Take this class.

My First Interaction With a LEO While Carrying

Just to avoid being accused of click baiting, there is nothing overly exciting here.  This was just my first interaction with law enforcement while carrying.

Last night the roads were extremely icy and due to circumstances beyond my control, my truck ended up in the ditch buried in a snow bank.

After a while an Illinois State Trooper pulled up to check on us.  He walked down the bank toward the truck.

Right when I saw the officer pull up, the first thing I did was get out my Illinois CCL to have it ready.  In class we discuss the various ways to interact with the police and when a carrier is supposed to disclose that a firearm is on or about their person.  Personally, I prefer the up front approach.  Others may prefer to wait for the officer to ask for that information, and that is their prerogative.

The officer came to my window, and I greeted him.  I also said “Officer, in the interest of full disclosure…” and this point I handed over my CCL.  The officer looked it over and handed it back.  “Thank you, I really appreciate that” he said.  He did not ask me to disclose the location of the firearm, but assumed it was on me.  I then asked him how he would like to proceed.

At this point he said while looking at my truck “I have no idea”.  He was referring to my truck, not really giving my firearm a second thought.  Although I am sure he kept that but of information in the back of his mind.

The officer offered my wife and I a ride to our destination (not far away) and we  abandoned the vehicle.  Before exiting the officer told me to “bring my equipment with”.  Obviously referring to the firearm.  He didn’t want a firearm in an abandoned vehicle and I can understand why.  My wife and I sat in the back of the police cruiser all the way to our destination.

For those of you who have never been in the back of a cruiser before, it is cramped, tiny, and they cannot move the seat up to give you more room.  While we were riding along, the officer asked me “So, what do you carry?”  I responded with “Glock 19″.  He then said ” I have a few Glocks, but I’m more of a Sig Sauer person myself”.  For the rest of the small trip, we talked about handguns and his experiences.  When we arrived, I shook his hand and thanked him again.  I gave him some business cards for my IDPA club and invited him out to shoot with us.

All in all it was an easy and pleasant experience!  Looking back on it, the only thing I wished I had done differently is turn on my cabin light in the truck when he approached the window.  That way the officer could see everything going on inside the cab.

The experience went about how I figured it would go: simple and with good conversation in between.

A big thank you to that officer and I hope his night was safe and sound!

An Update on Illini Tactical

Greetings everyone!

I wanted to give everyone an update on what is going on with Illini Tactical:

  • We are currently awaiting approval of our curriculum and instructors by the State.
  • We may have found a place to host the classroom portion of the course but we are still looking at ranges to host us.  If you happen to know a range that is willing to host, please contact us. The classroom facility we hope to use has an electronic fingerprint reader on site, making it very convenient for our students.
  • While a non-profit would be the preferred route for us to take.  We do not think it is feasible at this time.  I spoke with an attorney who advised to form an LLC instead.  A LLC is easier to form, faster to form, and is more cost effective.  This does not change our mission though.  We will offer the Illinois Concealed Carry on a donation basis.  If you cannot afford the class, we will not charge you for it.  But if have the ability, we ask for a donation to help us keep going.
  • We are still in need of donations. Your donations will be used to purchase instructors insurance, pay for incorporation fees, and classroom materials. If you have the ability, we would really appreciate your donation! Every dollar helps!

Thank you everyone!!!

Hello World (That means this is the first post)

Welcome to Illini Tactical everyone!!!

I wanted to make an introduction post for everyone and welcome you to our project.

When I learned that Illinois was finally passing forced to pass concealed carry, I was excited beyond all belief.  I wanted to get started right away.  Unfortunately, we all had to wait until the Illinois State Police got the requirements designed, trainers could be registered, etc.

Then we were told that a permit would cost $150 for only 5 years.  I know families that live pay check to pay check.  They could not afford the $150, let alone the cost of a 16 hour class, a firearm, ammo, FOID card, holster, and everything else.  I honestly believe that these fees are outrageous, and deter families from exercising their second amendment rights.

That’s where the idea for Illini Tactical came along.  I wanted to help out families exercise their rights that otherwise could not afford to.  I thought I can help lessen the financial burden around the cost of classes.  But I couldn’t do it all by myself.

Over my last few years of doing IDPA, I met a great group of shooters in Graham, Alex, and Scott.  I talked to them about hosting classes and teaching people about firearms.  Luckily for me, they were all in.  We got a logo, a Facebook page, and now a website.  There are only a few more steps.

We would like to become an LLC.  Originally the idea was to be a non-profit.  After speaking to an attorney, it was determined this was not the best course of action.  Non-profits take a long time to form; about 18 months actually.  A non-profit also didn’t offer the protection I needed.  When we form the LLC, our mission will not change.  If you cannot afford to take a class, you are welcome here at Illini Tactical.  If you do have the means to pay, please consider a donation to us.

Thanks you for your donations and time.  It is our hope that this business will grow and continue to help people.

Quality Firearms Training