Monday, 1 April 2013

Eleven 10 Tourniquet Case

A Kydex TQ holster

One of the medical doctrines that we promote on Whiskey Delta Gulf is the placement of a primary tourniquet (TQ) stored in a pouch within the Diver’s Triangle. The Diver’s Triangle is an inverted triangle with the base between the shoulders and the point at the belt buckle. Every operator must keep their tourniquet in an easy access pouch to protect it from UV and dirt that could degrade or foul the tourniquet when needed. This keeps a viable TQ in a position that can be accessed for self application regardless of body positioning. Rapid application of tourniquets to extremity wounds has been proven to drastically reduce combat deaths.

Eleven 10 gear has created open top Kydex cases for all Combat Casualty Care Working Group (CCCWG) and Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) approved personal tourniquets which include Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT), Special Operations Force Tactical Tourniquet (SOFTT) and Special Operations Force Tactical Tourniquet – Wide(SOFTT-W).

Why Kydex?

Kydex sheet, a non-porous acrylic-polyvinyl chloride composite, combines the qualities of  acrylic and  polyvinyl chloride (PVC). From acrylic, it gets rigidity and mold-ability.  From PVC, it gets its ruggedness and chemical resistance. Kydex is a  strong thermoplastic with a hardness of 90 on the Rockwell R scale. This hardness, combined with a grained surface, make it very abrasive resistance . Kydex  is easily molded into shape by heating, forming, and cooling the material. Typically it is supplied in sheets of varying thickness, which can be cut into shape and formed. Kydex has the following advantages over conventional textiles for tactical gear:
  • waterproof;
  • scratch resistant with a Rockwell "R" scale hardness of 90;
  • retains formed shape;
  • and low friction.
Eleven 10 gear uses 0.093” Kydex material for a robust product. For reference, most holsters are made from 0.06” or 0.08” Kydex. The great strength and extra retention of thick vacuum formed Kydex holds the tourniquet tightly in place with no straps or flaps. However, the TQ can be rapid accessed by grasping and pulling on the uncovered portion of the tourniquet.

SOFTT-W Case with Blade Tech Teklok Belt Attachment 

There are three mounting system available to the operator: belt, MOLLE, and holster shroud. The belt mounted case can be mounted to your duty or pistol belt either vertically or horizontally. Eleven 10 gear makes use of the Blade Tech Teklok Belt Attachment for their belt mount cases. This supports belt mounting up to 57mm (2.25”). There is a MOLLE compatible version to allow attachment to MOLLE platforms. Eleven 10 gear makes use of the Blade Tech MolleLok Gen 2 Attachment.  On the front of each case is a 25mm by 25mm (1”x1”) Red Cross velcro patch to distinguish it as medical gear. The patch can be easily removed and the 25mm by 25mm (1”x1”) pile velcro can be used to attach a IR reflecting square of the equal size for IFF. For those that choose to, the case can be attached to the Safariland Drop Leg Shroud using the existing holes in both the shroud and the TQ case. This is not a preference of mine as it makes the TQ access almost unilateral or, at least, problematic for the support side. 

CAT Case with Blade Tech MolleLok Gen 2 Attachment

While your mileage may vary, there are some definite pro and cons to this system. Current task and operational environment will be the major deciding factors for your application of this case.

  • Robust, formed protection of TQ
  • Multiple mounting options
  • Very rapid access
  • TQ can only be stored in uniform fold
  • MOLLE mount is very solid

  • Topmost portion of TQ open to UV and environment
  • MOLLE mount not quick to change position
  • Storing of TQ takes some practice

To get more purchase on the BladeTech MOLLE Lok,
 use a small piece of 550 or para cord
through the hole in the pull tab... 

I do like this system. It seems to take abuse very well. The only real drawback is the open top, which speeds TQ application, but exposes the TQ to degradation by UV and grime. Over the period of a long deployment, the materials of the TQ could degrade to a point of failure. For the military professional, use will depend on exposure time to the elements and risk versus benefit. But, only you can make that decision. For a LEO Emergency Response Team (ERT) or Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Operators, this may be just the ticket, due to the reduced exposure to environmental conditions compared to military types. For the LEO patrol officer or PSO, it is a simple, robust and effective method of mounting a lifesaving TQ to the duty belts.

An Eleven 10 C-A-T Tourniquet case/holster all krylon'd  up.
 The Red Cross patch replaced by a 25mm by 25mm IR patch.

The cases come in Scorched Earth, Mud Hut and Orginal Drab. They can be purchased in Canada through their Canadian distributor: CTOMS. They carry both the SOFTT-W and CAT models.

Take care out there.

Side note: At Whiskey Delta Gulf, we are proponents of proven doctrine. However, we are open minded to new concepts. Realizing not every situation will require full battle order, we are starting a trial on belt mounted tourniquet placement. 

Indexing Tourniquet using holster as index reference.

Indexing tourniquet using center line sweep.
We are doing this to explore the viability of tourniquet storage, application times, and to develop techniques and tips for primary TQs mounted on belt kit and patrol belts.

Standby, MTF....

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