The Shoot and Save course — a collaboration between Gamut Resolutions and D-Dey Response Group — is designed to “increase the skill level of any marksman utilizing a semi-automatic carbine and pistol and teach you TCCC (tactical combat casualty care).”
The course was exactly as advertised. I walked away a better shooter, as well as with a bevy of new lifesaving skills.
Bob Keller it the founder and CEO of Gamut Resolutions — a private training firm known for world-class rifle and pistol instruction. Bob spent his entire career in Army Special Operations. He’s had more combat missions than there are episodes of Seinfeld — missions that involved hundreds of gunfights.
Bob only teaches what worked in these gunfights — period — what kept him alive during his numerous combat deployments.
Bob and I co-host the “Think, Aim, Fire” podcast.
Don Deyo is a retired Army Special Forces medic and team sergeant, as well as a retired firefighter/paramedic.
For those unfamiliar with SF medics, they’re simply the best in the world. No one is more adept at handling trauma.
Don too has multiple combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Don’s wife Cecilia Deyo is president of D-Dey Response Group. When she founded D-Dey, her vision was two-fold: to create jobs for veterans and to prepare students to be “could-be heroes.”
The fact that both Don and Bob served as senior Special Operations NCOs guaranteed two things: a high level of real-world, been-there-done-that instruction, coupled with an easy demeanor and great rapport with students. They’re both nice guys and are very approachable.
There was no yelling or belittling as I’ve encountered with less-qualified instructors. Instead, the two delivered simple, clear and concise corrections and suggestions. They talked through what the students had done, and offered tips that were based on what they’d encountered in combat.
The overall atmosphere of the class was, in a word, relaxed.
There were 13 students in the class. Eight of which were LEOs. All eight were members of their department’s SWAT team.
Operation Patriot Support paid for four spots for the SWAT team members. Don and Bob comped four more.
Tuition for the two day course was $550.
There were five civilians in the class, including one gun writer who was worried about running and gunning with SWATties have his age. This was never an issue. While the training groups were mixed, the scenarios were not. The SWAT team members operated in two groups of four. The civilians ran the scenarios as a separate group.
All of the SWAT team members brought their department-issued ARs except one, who had an MP-5.
Three of the civilian students had ARs. One had a SCAR. I brought an AK, of course.
Most of the students had 9mm handguns. One had a 5.7 and I had a 45.
The course is designed to accommodate pretty much any carbine or handgun.
Round counts for the course were 700 rounds carbine and 600 rounds handgun. I had some ammo left over, but not much.
The class was broken into two groups, who then flip-flopped between Don’s TCCC and Bob’s shooting training. This actually worked out very well.
My problem with traditional firearms training — especially multi-day training — is that most students tend to lose focus after hours and hours at the range.
Switching between the two disciplines provided a nice break. It really helped keep you focused on the firing line.
Don taught the MARCH algorithm for TCCC, which has replaced the old ABC model.
It’s a handy mnemonic for what a rescuer should treat first:
- Massive hemorrhage
- Airway control
- Respiratory support
While all were addressed, most of the classes focused on stopping bleeding.
I went into the class feeling somewhat comfortable about my ability to correctly apply a tourniquet. Turns out I wasn’t even close. I left with much improved skills.
Don and his assistant Tim also taught how to treat sucking chest wounds, as well as how to treat other wounds to the torso, neck and extremities.
It was far from just lectures. They had training aids that simulated major wounds, which the students had to pack and bandage.
All of the instruction was interspersed with real-world tips and examples.
The most interesting part? Seeing the damage rounds did to a pork butt: .223, 45ACP and 7.62x39mm.
Bob’s training stresses the fundamentals. There’s no crazy YouTube crap or “range theatrics.”
He simply presented what works, and then the students hit the firing line to practice the techniques.
Not only is Bob a great instructor, but he’s a damn fine coach as well. He doesn’t miss a thing. He walked the line from student to student sharing tips and techniques.
In my group there were a couple white-hot SWATties from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and a few civilian shooters who were somewhat new to the game.
Bob allowed the experienced shooters to run, offering coaching-type tips, while he presented basic instruction to the novices, all at the same time.
He too provided a ton of real-world tips and techniques throughout the training.
If you take one of his normal two-day courses, or the one he’s abbreviated to fit into the Shoot and Save course, you will walk away a much better shooter.
I certainly did.
Day two of the course offered students the opportunity to put what they’d learned into practice.
The scenarios were complex.
Students would move toward cover until an instructor screamed “THREAT!”
There were two simulated casualties by each barricade. Students had to retrieve the (heavy) dummies and drag them behind the barricade while their partner provided live-fire cover at steel targets.
Then, they had to treat the casualties, while occasionally stopping to fire at the threats or treat their own “wounds.”
The instructors would stop the students, telling them they had received a wound to an extremity, which the student would have to treat by applying a tourniquet before returning to treat the casualty.
During one of my scenarios, my casualty was a triple amputee with a sucking chest wound and difficulty breathing. After I had applied three tourniquets, the instructor said one begun leaking, so I had to apply a fourth. During this, I was also “shot” in the arm.
I would strongly recommend this course for any gun owner, regardless of their abilities. It’s unlike anything else on the market.
It instills confidence not only in your shooting but in your ability to save a life.
For LEOs, especially SWAT team members, the course should be mandatory.
Many SWAT teams are now incorporating medics, but what happens if they take a round, or if they can’t get to a wounded team member?
This course will give SWAT team members the ability to treat themselves and the ability to care for others on the team.
I highly recommend the Shoot and Save course. It’s the perfect blending of very critical skills.
To sum: Take the course!
A very special thanks to Carries Rasmussen for all the photos and videos.