08 12 / 2011
Please keep in mind that this is intended to be a basic primer and not an exhaustive list. While it is recommended to carry all items on this list, there may be additional things you want to add based on your expertise and ability. Certain things may be marked “optional,” dependent on level of risk associate with your action, but it is definitely recommended to have those items as well.
- Energy bars (Cliff Bars, Powerbars, etc.)
- Drinking water
- Gatorade or other electrolyte beverage (optional)
- Phone numbers:
- Other medics and/or a medic dispatch
- Local NLG
- Fire Dispatch
- Other medics and/or a medic dispatch
- Cell phone
- Ear plugs (optional, for protection against LRAD)
Basic First Aid Supplies:
- Adhesive bandages in various shapes/sizes
- Sterile gauze sponges in various shapes/sizes
- Gauze bandage rolls
- Medical tape
- Instant cold packs
- Ace bandage rolls/rolled self-adhesive bandages
- Antiseptic swabs/wipes
- Gloves (ideally non-latex: nitrile, PVC, etc.)
- Sterile saline solution (10cc preloads, if available)
- Antibiotic cream (optional)
- Arnica gel (optional)
Tear Gas Preparation (optional):
- Gas mask with shatter-proof lenses -OR-
- Shatter-resistant goggles that SEAL and do not fog -AND-
- Industrial respirator (must filter heavy chemicals)
- Squirt bottle or squeeze bottle containing LAW (see note)
A note about LAW:
LAW, or Liquid Antacid & Water, is typically a 50/50 mixture of Maalox and water. When purchasing liquid antacid, make sure it does not contain ALCOHOL. Unflavored varieties are preferred. Name-brand antacid works best, as it contains the highest concentrations of aluminium hydroxide and/or magnesium hydroxide. Another option is to use a 60/40 mixture of water and milk of magnesia, which has the highest concentration of magnesium hydroxide, and is less likely to contain any potentially harmful ingredients. LAW can be used as an eye wash to neutralize tear gas (and pepper spray), and can also be gargled and swallowed to help those who have inhaled tear gas.
Be sure to wear long sleeves and long pants. Lightweight synthetic fabrics (not things like fleece) are best, as they will not absorb chemicals (like tear gas). It is not recommended to wear sunscreen, body oils, or lotions, as these can cause chemicals to adhere to your skin. Similarly, it is advised that people not wear contact lenses, as they can trap pepper spray or tear gas in your eyes.
My next post will delve a bit more deeply into Street Medic attire, so stay tuned!
07 12 / 2011
As some of you may or may not know, my name is Elle. I’m an Occupy Oakland medic, and I’ve decided to use this as a space to share my own personal brand of street medic etiquette, fashion, and other helpful hints.
I get asked on a pretty regular basis what being a street medic entails, what training I’ve had, and what qualities one needs in order to be an effective medic. Over the next few days, I plan on sharing the answers to all these questions and more, to provide an overview of what information one might seek in order to pursue the chaotic and exciting lifestyle of a street medic.
Please keep in mind, the opinions expressed here are my own. I am not a representative of the medic community in any way, and do not consider myself to be any kind of an authority on this subject.
Please also remember that the first rule of being a good medic is never operating outside of your scope. If you do not have the training and knowledge to do something, DON’T! There is no shame in telling someone you don’t know how to do something, or that you need help. The best treatment is preventative, and the best way to prevent damage is to only do what you know and are comfortable with.
While on the subject of no shame, there is also no shame in not wanting to be arrested. You need to make sure first and foremost that you are taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally. Putting yourself unnecessarily at risk does not benefit others, and can potentially endanger others who may feel obligated to protect you. It is important to constantly reassess your situation, and decide whether it makes sense for you to continue to be there.
My next post will focus on attire and equipment, so stay tuned!