Using a Benchmade 5 Hook, Rob Pincus demonstrates exactly how to use a safety cutter, also known as a rescue hook, to cut away clothing and expose a gunshot wound. It can also be used to cut away clothing on other types of injuries.
During firearms training or practice, a person may have an negligent discharge and shoot themselves in the leg. During a dynamic critical incident, after the scene is secure but before EMS arrives, you can employ the safety cutter to start your own emergency medical care on yourself or someone else.
Rob keeps a safety cutter, the small-size Benchmade 5 Hook, in his emergency medical ankle kit. The safety cutter is a useful personal-protection device. In this scenario, he has a gunshot wound in his upper thigh. In all likelihood, that would put him down on the ground, where it will be cumbersome and painful to take his pants off. If working on another person, it may be even more difficult and dangerous to move the person in order to remove the pants.
This is where the safety cutter comes in. Insert the safety cutter in the hole where the round went in and pull firmly up to tear the fabric a few inches. Then insert it in the hole again and pull the hook down. It’s impressive how cleanly and easily the Benchmade 5 Hook cuts through clothing. Now you can expose the wound for inspection and treatment. The wound is completely visible and you can add a pressure dressing on it, or hemostatic gauze to promote clotting.
If you deem a tourniquet necessary, use the safety cutter again to cut the pants away horizontally so the tourniquet can be applied directly to the skin and not have clothing bunched up under it.
The Benchmade 5 Hook, as well as other safety cutters on the market, can cut through thick material like denim and the pockets of cargo pants.