Dark Angel Medical

First Aid/Medical Course - Direct Action Response Training

10/21/2017 - 10/22/2017
Marietta, OH

Instructor: Ross XXXXXX

Tutiton: $400, $550 with the Dark angel kit included. 


Shamelessly stolen from Dark Angel's site:

"The time to learn to use your personal trauma kit is not when you or someone else is bleeding out!!! When life expectancy is measured in seconds and help is minutes away, will you know what to do? In our uncertain lives, that is a question that we all need to be able to answer a resounding, “Yes!” to. Dark Angel Medical, LLC, is proud to offer training and instruction in the use of the D.A.R.K. The Direct Action Response Training** fills a niche between military self-aid/buddy care training and civilian EMS training and is geared towards those with little to no medical training or background. It provides the student with critical, need-to-know information, which can be utilized in a myriad of situations and stresses the ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ principle as well as our own principle of “Simplicity Under Stress”. The course is 2 days in length with a total of 16 hours of classroom work to include slide presentations, videos, question and answer sessions and hands-on practical skills application. A manual and all training aids will be provided. A D.A.R.K. (Direct Action Response Kit) may also be provided to each student as part of the tuition. 


The course covers the following:

  • Physiological and Psychological reactions to environmental stress
  • The importance of having the proper Combat Mindset
  • Basic Anatomy and Physiology of life-sustaining systems
  • H, A, B, C’s—Hemorrhage, Airway, Breathing and Circulation
  • Breakdown and usage of Individual Med Kit components
  • Proper stowage and employment of the IMK
  • Hands-on application of the IMK
  • Basic and Advanced Airway management -treating and monitoring tension pneumothorax, sucking chest wound and flail chest
  • Airway adjunct device placement-Nasopharyngeal Airway
  • Basic First Aid and Advanced wound care
  • Application of Bandages and Hemostatic Agents
  • Application of tourniquets
  • Recognition and Treatment of various injuries (Gunshot, Laceration, Burn, Airway, Head, Orthopedic, Environmental)
  • Recognition and treatment of hypovolemic (hemorrhagic) shock
  • Moving and positioning victims with various injuries
  • Response to active shooter situation
  • Proper use of cover and cover vs. concealment
  • Casualty recovery in an Active Shooter situation
  • Mass casualty triage procedure
  • Emergency Medical Dialect/Lingo (911 protocol, cooperation with LE, Fire and EMS and First Responders)


  • Note pad and pen/pencil/Sharpie
  • Individual First Aid Kit—If you choose to. All training materials are provided.
  • An open mind


My background:

I had my EMT-B for 12 years and just recently let it go, as my current job no longer required it, and it was easier liabilities wise to not have it while being unaffiliated. My mother came to me after Vegas and wanted to take a First Aid course. After looking around, and reading some AAR's Dark Angel Medical Course fit this billet perfectly for my Mom.  I also wanted to see what the newer medical guidelines were and see what my mom was getting taught.  

Course Venue:

The course venue was in a local IBEW hall, it was perfect for our needs, the course host Daryl from gunstockfirearms[.]com also had both lunch's catered so we did not have to worry about people being late from lunch(nothing really close by) and could maximize our time with the course. 


The Dark Angel Medical Instructor was Ron F., he was a former navy corpsmen, spent some time in Afghanistan & Iraq, he currently is a Paramedic as well. He did a phenomenal job in teaching the course. He made the course material easy to understand, he kept everyone's attention and did not make the class dull. I was truly impressed, I have been to many EMS related courses, and this was by far the best one. 

Course Make-up:

  • 13 students
  • primarily all concerned citizens/shooting community 



  • We did a group hug and introduced ourselves to the course
  • This was primarily an educational day with lots of slides and information
  • We learned how to use CAT TQ and how to set it up properly
    • this was really useful, I had been trained on a previous generation of CAT, so getting a new flavor and minor updates was awesome
    • the deployment method taught does really make a huge difference in one handed application, also in how you stow the TQ will have significant ramifications for one handed application
  • There would random moments throughout the rest of the power points where Ross would say an appendage and we would have to TQ it. 
  • The flow of the course material was solid and compounding, it was very much a crawl, walk, run+
  • We did 3  practical skills stations, then 2 patient assessment scenarios
  • Ross at the end of class gave us our Dark Kits if we had bought them, and also let us take home for the night our training TQ
  • Good amount of breaks and videos in the material
  • Table set up with all kinds of various Dark Angel Medical Kits, and different medical equipment to play with



  • A little more Powerpoint slides, and fortunately Ross did not make this death by PowerPoint
    • this also included some pleasant non-trauma things like, allergic reaction, snake, and insect wounds
  • We did more practical stations, then switched to doing full patient assessment scenarios using all the knowledge we had learned for the rest of the day
  • At the end of the course, they give a  discount code to the students to order an additional medical supplies/kits they want


Medical Takeaways:

  • SOFT-Wide TQ 
    • Is easy to apply to other people
    • Is really good to crank on thunder thighs
    • is hard to apply in one handed operations
      • I carry one low pro for ccw, and have found that I have to use a wall, table, or floor to brace against to hold the windlass in place to provide the initial tension with a one handed application, before cranking down
  • CAT TQ
    • superior for one handed application, 
    • when applying the CAT to the leg in a two handed operation it is faster to break it apart then to fight the loop up
  • SWAT-T
    • not really a fan of this for self application, more training reps probably required, 
      • I can not reliably tuck the end in on an arm TQ application one handed or consistently have enough tension to stop blood flow
    • really low profile
    • great for k9
  • Overall TQ thoughts
    • If the TQ is not really uncomfortable, you probably are not tight enough when you check for pulse(usually the amount of discomfort was proportional to whether or not the radial pulse was present for me anyway)
    • Rolling to a qausi recovery position on side(with desired TQ leg site facing the sky) made it easier to apply TQ(two handed) for me on the white tightie line from laying on the ground since I was not fighting the ground to get the TQ up under the bum cheeks
  • Hemostatic agent(S)
    • I really like that the Chito based products could be naturally broken down by the body where the quikclot based products were not
      • "maximizes hemostatic performance and reduces the risk of re-bleeding by providing effective hemostasis outside of the normal clotting cascade. "
      • this does not make quikclot ineffective, but my EMS nerd brain was 
    • learned about applicators by celox, and will have to do more research
    • I probably will rock ChitoGuaze XR in all my future IFAK/Med kit build outs over quikclot as a result new knowledge

Overall thoughts:

I would recommend this course to anyone regardless of whether they shoot or not. This course was a really good crash course on trauma and basic life saving medical skills. As a former provider, I felt they did just the right mix of everything in two days that they could do. I would recommend taking your family members/significant others to this course as well.  It gave me comfort knowing that my mom now has training to use an IFAK on me.  I don't know about the rest of LF, but we train all the time to defend/help others. Who in our immediate non-work circle will fix us?


"The facts, while interesting are irrelevant: It's not what you know that matters, it's what you don't know that tends to get people killed."


"Nobelesse Oblige"

Original Post

Edit: Dark angel medical also provides the course slides to you, so you can refresh your memory


"The facts, while interesting are irrelevant: It's not what you know that matters, it's what you don't know that tends to get people killed."


"Nobelesse Oblige"

It won't let me edit the error at the bottom with "my EMS brain"  liked the kool aid

in addition:
Oles bandage is legit compared to isareli

  • has plastic to seal chest/abadomen
  • Velcro bit to help start wrapping wound, and not having to change directions
  • removalable gauze to pack wound

Isareli bandage is still good, but I really like the Oles


"The facts, while interesting are irrelevant: It's not what you know that matters, it's what you don't know that tends to get people killed."


"Nobelesse Oblige"

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