March 27, 2017, by Dana Atkins – The main scourge of the U.S. Servicemen in the past and present deployments aren’t militant extremists but IEDs. IEDs or Improvised Explosive Devices are the culprit behind serious injuries, dismemberments and worse; death among our military.
What are IEDs?
An IED, as mentioned above is an Improvised Explosive Device. Its components come from ordinary everyday materials such as pipes, pieces of cloth or fabric, fertilizer, nails, broken glass or any other hard material that will break off and create multiple pieces called shrapnel that cause personal injury to people nearby.
Members of the armed forces should always keep in mind, despite dire situations, must not rule out the possibility of 2nd or 3rd devices. These devices often explode within seconds or minutes from the first IED as a force multiplier to maximize damage output.
Here are some Basic and Simple Guides on what to do in case of an IED attack:
Prevention is better than cure is what most doctors say about an illness. The same goes for IEDs. If you see a suspicious package, device, vehicle or anything that might be out of the ordinary, immediately inform your fellow soldiers of it. There is a common saying that goes “If you see it, say it!”
For civilians, if you see or suspect an IED, do not be afraid to call on authorities. Do not assume that someone else has already reported it. Take the initiative and be careful. Step away from the suspected area or package. By all means, do not attempt to defuse or tamper with it.
Location and Proximity
When an IED does explode in an immediate area around you, your top priority should be to get away from that area ASAP. Leaving the area significantly increases your chance of being in safety due to the possibility of a 2nd device.
If you are in a building, you should get under tables or desks when objects are falling. When you exit the room, do it calmly and quickly. Do not go back for any personal belongings as this may endanger you even more. If able, assist other victims in exiting the area. Use the stairs instead of elevators and beware of weak floors and falling debris.
If you are out of the building, carefully move away from potentially hazardous materials such as glass doors or windows. You should calmly walk away from the blast site into nearby emergency and medical officials.
If you become trapped, immediately cover your nose with a wet piece of cloth or any other material that can be used a filter to decrease chances of you inhaling hazardous substances. Limit your movements so as to prevent dust from moving around.
A common mistake people make during these situations is that they shout out to call out rescuers. Do this only as a last result. Shouting increases the risk of you inhaling toxic substances from the explosion. You can do other things to alert rescuers such as tapping on the floor or making any noise from anything metal near you.
Basic First aid can be the difference between life and death. Always put pressure on areas where bleeding is suspected. Do not panic and be wise with your movements. Secure yourself first before attempting to help others as you may only aggravate the situation.
In the case of foreign materials that impale or become lodged in certain extremities, do not try to remove them. Secure the victim first and look for any signs of shock or bleeding and try to reassure and calm the victim.
If victims are not severely injured transfer them to hospitals that are further from the area as those nearer can become overwhelmingly crowded. Triaging also can help you on which to determine who to help or transfer first. Triaging is the classification of the severity of the injury of victims.
These are just some of the usual tips and practices you can do to improve survival rates during an IED attack. The risk of personal injury is great, but with a calm and knowledgeable approach, the preservation of life and property is attainable.
About the Author: Dana Atkins is a fan of technology, entrepreneurship, and society. Currently based in Michigan. She is a researcher by heart and is also interested in diverse cultures. In her free time, she shares her work and other interesting knowledge that her readers would certainly enjoy.