The on-body individual first aid kit (IFAK) or trauma kit is a military concept that spread to law enforcement and the general public. If a life-threatening situation presents itself, medical gear turns into one of the most important pieces of kit to carry. You are your own first responder. You never know when things might go sideways. Preparedness requires the proper mindset, training, and tools. It doesn’t just happen. It’s a way of life and takes some effort.
Dark Angel Medical S.P.E.A.R. Trauma Kit
Dark Angel Medical offers a wide array of well-though-out trauma kits. The Special Purpose Emergency Aid Rig (S.P.E.A.R.) trauma kit’s the newest addition to the Dark Angel Medical product line. The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit was five years in the making. Dark Angel Medical took a look at existing low-profile trauma kits and how they could make them better. The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit was the result.
The S.P.E.A.R trauma kit is designed to address the three main causes of preventable death on the battlefield: massive hemorrhage, tension pneumothorax, and compromised airway. With this in mind, Dark Angel Medical chose the best components and packaged them in an innovative, low-profile, easy-to-deploy kit.
One of the distinguishing features of the S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit is its pouch. The pouch is made for Dark Angel Medical by FirstSpear®. It’s constructed of Brookwood Squadron® fabric, a proprietary laser-cuttable laminate known for its strength, durability, and abrasion resistance. The pouch is as low-profile and “snag proof” as they could possibly make it. The pouch is secured in the outer cover with Fastex® side-release buckles. The outer cover is a protective sleeve that’s laser cut to accept 4″ MALICE clips (included with kit) to enable you to attach the pouch to any MOLLE-compatible attachment system or to a belt up to 2″ wide via the belt channel for versatility.
Speed is of the essence in a medical emergency. The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit’s rapidly deployable from either side. To deploy the kit you simply click the buckle to release it. Grab the red pull handle and pull the kit out of the out of outer cover/ protective sleeve. Pull the center tab on the kit and the entire kit opens up to display the contents for quick access to the lifesaving components. The components are retained in the kit by elastic bands. The tourniquet band is designed to hold either the C-A-T® Gen 7 or the SOF-T® Gen 5, both of which are CoTCCC-recommended limb tourniquets. The design of the kit allows it to be easily handed off to other team members or medics when responding to incidents with multiple casualties.
The outer cover is designed to not only protect all components but to also serve as a “Tourniquet Garage” to protect the tourniquet from the elements, unlike the other low-profile trauma kits on the market which leave the tourniquet exposed. It also greatly reduces the chances of the tourniquet snagging and potentially losing it. The front of the outer cover has loop VELCRO® to attach an identifier patch, such as the optional Dark Angel Medical Identifier PVC Patch.
The concept behind all Dark Angel Medical trauma kits is best summed up by the company’s motto: “Simplicity Under Stress.” The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit contains the absolute essential items you must have to render aid to a trauma victim and nothing that you don’t.
The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit comes standard with:
1 12′ roll of hemostatic gauze (your choice of QuikClot® Bleeding Control Dressing or ChitoGauze® XR Pro)
1 pair chest seals
1 compression bandage
1 12′ roll of standard compressed gauze
1 pair nitrile gloves
1 Mylar® blanket
1 C-A-T® Gen 7 tourniquet (SOF-T® Gen 5 can be substituted)
The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit doesn’t come with a chest decompression needle. Needle decompression is an advanced practice skill, which requires proper licensure. The kit was designed so that it can be safely and effectively employed by anyone with a small amount of medical training. Tension pneumothorax typically takes some time to develop. Chest seals are designed to slow the development. If you have the training and licensure, a “chest dart” can easily be added to the kit.
The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit also doesn’t come with trauma shears or a NPA, but they can easily be added. The shears can be carried inside the “Tourniquet Garage.”
The complete kit measures 7″ W x 6″ D x 2.5″ H. It weighs 17 ounces.
Training is Essential
Having the necessary tools is only part of the equation. Equipment is only as good as your training. Basic emergency medical training should cover the entire spectrum of lifesaving skills. And like shooting, they’re perishable skills. We all know the importance of regular firearms training, but medical training is all too often neglected. You are more likely to need to use medical skills than you are your firearm.
Dark Angel Medical offers their outstanding two-day Direct Action Response Training (D.A.R.T) course at various locations around the country, which gives all participants BCON (Bleeding Control) certification from the American College of Surgeons. It also provides 16 hours of CEU’s, per CECBEMS, to NREMT EMT-Basics/Advanced and Paramedics. I have taken the D.A.R.T. course and highly recommend it. No matter what your current level of training, you will get a lot out of it.
Dark Angel Medical is now also offering an online version of the D.A.R.T. course for those that cannot make it to an in-person class. The online D.A.R.T. course is based on the same curriculum and principles as the in-person D.A.R.T. course that Dark Angel Medical has been offering since 2011. The online training was filmed live at one of the D.A.R.T. classes.
The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit’s an outstanding addition to any battle belt/operator belt or chest rig/plate carrier setup. It’s also a great addition to a go bag. As with all Dark Angel Medical products that I have evaluated, it’s very well thought out and of the highest quality, which is essential when lives are on the line. It combines innovation, quality, and versatility.
If you are looking for a low-profile trauma kit that can save your life or someone else’s, I highly recommend checking out the S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit. It’s a great kit for anyone who wants to be prepared for an emergency trauma situation, whether it’s on duty, at home, or on the road. It’s not designed as an EDC trauma kit, but Dark Angel Medical has you covered there too with other excellent kits in its line that are designed specifically for EDC.
The S.P.E.A.R. trauma kit’s available in multiple colorway options: black, coyote brown, ranger green, Multicam®, and Multicam Black®. Price is $199.95 or you can choose four interest-free payments of $50.00 with Sezzle. It’s made in the USA and Berry Compliant. The optional Dark Angel Medical Identifier PVC Patch is $1.99.
For more info or to purchase, go to the Dark Angel Medical website. Dark Angel Medical is a supplier to the US military, law enforcement and the general public. DUNS #: 078472585. CAGE Code: 6R7W4. Dark Angel Medical is a veteran-owned and operated business.
All Dark Angel Medical trauma kits are covered by Dark Angel Medical’s exclusive “Med Kit for Life” program. If you ever use one of their kits to save a life, simply provide them with official documentation and they’ll replace anything you have used for free, with free shipping too!
Dark Angel Medical
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
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