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Schertz company preps clients to survive critical incidents, like active shooters

Richard Smith.jpg
Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Con10tengency chief consultant Richard Smith displays a wound-packing simulator during training at the Region 20 Education Service Center

A company based in Schertz specializes solely in preparing clients for surviving the first 10 minutes of a critical incident, often involving an active shooter.

The firm named Con10gency is staffed by former law enforcement, EMS, fire, and medical personnel. Its core mission is to save lives.

It also sells custom first aid kits and combat-style tourniquets to its clients and critical incident response bags for emergency personnel.

Richard Smith, the chief consultant at Con10gency, is a former U.S. Marine who joined the San Antonio Police Department in 1989. He was assigned as a full time hostage negotiator and as a coordinator of the department's tactical medic program.

He has participated in hundreds of critical incidents, according to a bio on the company's website.

Smith said they have a diverse list of clients

"Movie theaters, malls, large, large and small places of worship, airports. I mean we have outreach across the country and we're training someone everyday on how to survive," he said.

Texas Public Radio recently attended a training session conducted by Con10gency and the Bexar County Sheriff's Department involving school teachers, nurses, and administrators at the Education Service Center Region 20, near Fort Sam Houston.

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Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Educators undergoing wound training at Region 20 Education Service Center

Smith was holding a "Stop the Bleed" exercise where participants were applying tourniquets and attending to mock wounds in dummy arms formally called wound-packing simulators.

"It has several small little injuries that we can utilize to pack gauze or hemostatic gauze in to control what we call junctional bleeding. That's bleeding that's non-amenable, you can't use a tourniquets," he said.

Con10gency reports someone can bleed to death in two to five minutes depending on the severity of their wounds, while a typical EMS response can take seven minutes, even longer in rural areas. It said that's the reason others, like teachers, need to be trained as first responders too.

Simran Jawanda, who is a vice principal at the Eleanor Kolitz Hebrew Language Academy, was at the session. She said the training has been required by the Texas Education Agency or TEA for a few years now. Teachers also pass on their training to students.

"We've been training our staff for the last three years on "Stop the Bleed," including 7th and 8th grade students. It's a requirement by the TEA, so we've actually been training the kids for a while."

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Brian Kirkpatrick
Texas Public Radio
Simran Jawanda, who is a vice principal at the Eleanor Kolitz Hebrew Language Academy, was among those trained to pack gauze into a wound.

State law requires schools to have medical kits on the premises to stop severe bleeding.

Smith said the average number of victims in a man made mass casualty event is anywhere from 10 to 20.  He recommended at the training session that large facilities be prepared to treat up to 30 people, and smaller ones be prepared to treat 10 people.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian