Press Releases

Z-Medica and Combat Medical Systems Donate First-Aid Kits for Journalists Reporting from War Zones

WALLINGFORD, Conn., Oct. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This week 24 freelance journalists will convene in New York at the Bronx Documentary Center for a special training program on combat safety and first-aid presented by RISC (Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues), a non-profit organization for freelance journalists who cover conflict zones around the world. The training will include strategies to respond to combat risks including trauma associated with gunshot wounds and explosive devices. Participating journalists will receive specially designed first-aid kits donated by Z-Medica and Combat Medical Systems (CMS). The kits are equipped with Combat Gauze®, the only product recommended as the first line treatment for life-threatening hemorrhage by the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) for all branches of the U.S. Military.

RISC trainees are taught how to clear air passageways, stop or slow bleeding from wounds, stop air leakage into the chest cavity from a chest wound and transport the injured person to a medical facility. One of the key elements of training will be techniques for stopping the bleeding from an open wound, because hemorrhage is the most common and preventable cause of death on the battlefield. This week's training session is the second held by RISC. The trainings are performed by a team from Wilderness Medical Associates International and headed by Sawyer Alberi, a Vermont National Guard combat medic who has done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

RISC Founder and Executive Director Sebastian Junger hopes to bring the training overseas to London and Beirut next year. This is the first RISC training to feature individual first-aid kits donated by Z-Medica and CMS, the exclusive Combat Gauze distributor to the U.S. Department of Defense.

"Freelancers comprise the vast majority of frontline reporters, and yet they are the most under-served of the entire journalistic community," said Mr. Junger. "I started RISC in an attempt to provide them with the kind of medical skills and equipment that might save lives on the battlefield."

Mr. Junger founded RISC following the death of his friend and colleague, Tim Hetherington, who was wounded by shrapnel while covering the uprising in Libya last year. Tim died on the way to the Misrata hospital - a loss that may have been averted if the journalists in his presence knew what to do to control the bleeding. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 23 journalists have been killed in crossfire or combat in a military context in the past two years, and 22 have been killed while covering demonstrations, riots, mob situations and other clashes. Countless others have been wounded.

"We are dedicated to providing the U.S. Military with the most powerful and reliable hemostatic agents and take pride in our continued contribution to those who serve and protect our country," said Scott Garrett, vice president, military and tactical programs, Z-Medica. "It's only fitting to ensure the brave men and women reporting in violent regions have access to the same tools and training."

About Z-Medica® LLC

Z-Medica LLC is a medical device company developing fast acting, easy to use, hemostasis products that stop bleeding wherever it occurs, making it possible to save lives and improve patient outcomes.  The company manufactures and markets a portfolio of QuikClot® hemostasis products for use by healthcare professionals, first responders, law enforcement officers, consumers and the military.

Based on tests conducted by the Naval Medical Research Center and the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research, the Committee on Tactical Combat Casualty Care (CoTCCC) recommended QuikClot Combat Gauze® as the hemostatic agent for the Department of Defense and for use by all U.S. Military Forces as the first line treatment of traumatic bleeding. QuikClot® products are developed and manufactured in the United States. Z-Medica LLC is a privately-held company based in Wallingford, CT. For more information, visit

About RISC

RISC (Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues) is a non-profit organization that trains and equips freelance journalists in all media to treat life-threatening injuries on the battlefield. Surviving a gunshot or shrapnel wound is often a matter of doing the right thing in the first few minutes, and RISC training focuses on that brief, critical period of time. It is RISC's hope to make first aid training the industry norm - like having a flak jacket or sat phone - and to prevent unnecessary deaths in a job that is so vital to human dignity and human rights. RISC trainings are provided free of cost to freelancers, and all donations are used to cover the costs of running these trainings. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit