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LAX shooting survivor says Boy Scout first-aid training saved his life

Brian LudmerAn Eagle Scout who was shot in the leg during Friday’s deadly attack at Los Angeles International Airport credits first-aid training he learned as a Scout with saving his life.

Brian Ludmer, a 29-year-old California teacher and former member of Lake Forest, Ill., Troop 48, used a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding in his leg and keep himself alive.

In an interview with NBC News, Dan Stepenosky, superintendent of Ludmer’s school district, said Ludmer’s Scouting skills proved invaluable.

“He dragged himself to a nearby closet, closed the door and relied on his old Boy Scouts training to create a makeshift tourniquet to help slow the bleeding,” Stepenosky said. 

Ludmer, who remains in good condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, earned his Eagle Scout Award in 2002. To reach Scouting’s highest rank, Ludmer had to earn the First Aid merit badge, which teaches Scouts both how to apply a tourniquet and the benefits and risks of doing so.

No Scout or Scouter ever expects to use first-aid training for something like this. But the first-aid skills Scouts learn equip them to respond in worst-case scenarios like Friday’s shooting, which left one Transportation Security Administration officer dead and wounded several others.

I’ve reached out to Ludmer’s troop to see whether I can talk to some of his former troopmates and leaders. In the meantime, let’s all wish him and the other victims a swift recovery while extending our prayers and thoughts to the family of Gerardo Hernandez, who was killed in the attack.

7 Comments on LAX shooting survivor says Boy Scout first-aid training saved his life

  1. As Scouts, we were sure that the answer to most any first aid requirement was “tourniquet.” :P

  2. Unbelievable — I met this young man at camp over a decade ago … good kid!

  3. Bryan I have two long time personal friends that were at the LAX Terminal 3 and they confronted by the accused shooter at a escalator as they were headed for a Mexico vacation. My friend is along time Great Scouter and LDS Young men’s leader in the Bakersfield Stake for many years. He and his wife were confronted by the accused shooter. My friend pushed his wife behind a counter to protect her and then stood up and faced the shooter saying to his wife that he was a dead man. The accused shooter placed the rifle at his chest and ask him if he was an ATF security guard and my friend stated no he was not and the shooter spared him and moved on and my friends could hear shooting from another place in the terminal. As I watched the evening news and the interview with his family in Bakersfield I was so grateful that my friends had remained calm and I believe that it saved his and his wife’s lives. I know his years of faith in God and service in Scouting played a big part in surviving their ordeal it was truly a modern miracle . Trenton Spears

  4. I have touted, over the years, that merit badges are not some kind of manby, pamby activity that a scout does to be able to wear round patches on a green background. Recently, this blog discussed 12 year old Eagle Scouts and whether they are qualified to earn that rank. From what I read, most agreed that they were not mature enough to know the value of or have the true abilities that certain merit badges requirements require. In fact, one Brian J. pokes fun at those who believe that merit badges can have a real part in ones life. This is yet another incident of what can come about when we, as leaders, take seriously the duties placed before us. This Eagle Scout was 18 when he was presented his Eagle. Again I say that time and maturity are as important as anything else in the earning of the Eagle rank. Let no one doubt this.

    • I’m doubting it Mike. I have every reason to expect a trained 13 y.o. to manage triage well. Seen it happen.

      Again, if a youth is that enthused, get him/her those skills ASAP. I wish days of calamity waited for a scout or venturer to “mature.” Unfortunately, my experience speaks to the contrary.

  5. The other story this past week about Scouts in Action is from the bus crash in Kansas:
    http://www.kake.com/news/coveringkakeland/headlines/Boy-Scouting-credited-with-helping-students-stranded-on-bus-remain-calm-230302381.html

  6. John A. Kingston Sr // November 5, 2013 at 7:25 am // Reply

    As a 34 year veteran of two police departments, I can attest to the value of the skills I developed earning my Eagle badge. Many times these skills have been put to the test, from performing CPR, roping an Emu (not as easy as it sounds), to retrieving car keys dropped down storm drains 2 times in a month, etc…. Being prepared is a fundamental mental and physical lesson Scouting taught me, and has served me well over the years. I currently serve on the RI Airport Police working closely with TSO’s there. We practice for situations involving active shooters. I pray for those who were affected at LAX, and that I may never have to put my skills to use.

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