Ricci Ankle Medical System (AMS) Review
You only need to look to our brave men and women fighting overseas to see the advancement in medical technology over the last decade or so. When I first travelled to parts elsewhere, I had a first aid pouch that held a field dressing and a cravat. Fast forward just a couple of years and everyone is carrying their own Improved First Aid Kit (IFAK) containing a tourniquet, combat gauze and other useful items in the event of a traumatic injury.
I remember talking to a medic friend of mine that stayed in for a couple of years after I got out. He told me of some crazy things that battlefield medicine was bringing to the civilian medical field. He explained that the civilian world usually lagged a couple of years behind on adoption of techniques and innovations that were commonplace on the battlefield. One of the developments that is finding widespread adoption in the civilian world is the use of IFAKs in Law Enforcement.
Forward thinking departments have outfitted their officers with similar first aid equipment to that carried by our soldiers. My agency has done so and was able to use multiple IFAKs and well trained officers to great effect in a high profile mass casualty incident. The statistics back up the use and fielding of basic tools to address penetrating trauma – in Law Enforcement that will likely be a bullet or stab wound.
The IFAKs that are issued to us come in a medium sized MOLLE pouch and contain combat gauze, a tourniquet, Israeli bandages, a chest seal and a pair of trauma shears. It is a great kit and I haven’t heard of any complaints. The limitation of our kit is that we were required to leave it visible in the passenger side of our vehicles. This standardization makes finding it in anyone’s car much easier but leaves you in the lurch if you’re not near your vehicle.
My job description doesn’t have me miles away from my vehicle very often and if I was, it was a planned occurrence and I would have an assault pack with the IFAK from my vehicle attached to it. The scenario that I wanted to prepare for was the unexpected ditching out of my car and chasing someone on foot for miles (and later almost getting eaten by an insane federal K9 unit) or being unable to return to my car due to injury or circumstance. For these reasons I briefly looked at setting up a pouch on my duty belt but quickly ditched that idea as I don’t have the real estate there. You could come up with some sort of blow out kit for your cargo pocket but depending on your uniform pants that might not be an option. Plus a majority of cops don’t wear an external vest that they can just hang pouches off as they please so for most of us that’s not an option either
I had forgotten about my idea until I came upon the Ricci Ankle Medical System (AMS) by Strike Industries. In a nutshell the AMS is an ankle mounted pouch system that is designed to carry elements of an IFAK in a manner that is accessible and addresses the lack of belt space that most cops have. It was developed by Matt Ricci a SWAT veteran from Southern California. Hearing him speak about the AMS, he had many of the same concerns when he designed and developed the system.
The AMS is made of nylon and is secured by Velcro. It is worn in the same manner as an ankle holster. The inside diameter is big enough to accommodate the heftier legs out there and it will adjust down for those of us with chicken legs.
The exterior of the band has a wide strip of very sturdy elastic that is divided into three pockets. The largest pocket is able to be covered with a sewn Velcro flap and it is large enough to carry a pack of Combat Gauze, hemostatic agents, chest seals or other bandages. The other two pockets are smaller and are designed to carry most of the tourniquets in widespread use. There is also a patch of MOLLE webbing should you find the need to add an additional pouch.
My impressions have been overwhelmingly positive. I love that this system keeps critical first aid gear on an officer at all times. There is no more running back to the car to get the IFAK. I am familiar with carrying an ankle holster so it wasn’t unusual to have something riding on top of my boot. A quick note: If you aren’t used to wearing an ankle holster, the first time you wear any ankle mounted holster/pouch/system your lower leg might ache. It goes away, don’t worry.
The Ricci AMS is lightweight and doesn’t add as much heft as I expected it to. Depending on how full you pack it, the girth can become a problem. With just a pack of gauze in the main pouch and a SOF-T tourniquet in the pocket next to it the size of the RAMS quickly grew. It wasn’t horrible but in the bootcut jeans I was wearing it took some doing to get my pant leg over it. When I switched out and tried my 5.11 Stryke and TDU pants they were almost snug to the AMS. I was still able to pull the pant leg up so it’s a cosmetic rather than functional issue.
So you know, the 5.11 Stryke pants printed the location of the system to the point it was readily apparent you had something on your ankle. Now that’s not a horrible thing because if some thug ever tried to go for the “gun” on my ankle he’d be in for more than a couple of surprises.
I haven’t worn the AMS for months and months so I can’t speak to its long-term durability. However, looking at the construction I don’t see any parts that look like they would fail.
If you are able to keep everything slimlined you have a number of options for the third pocket. As of now I stow the excess strap for the SOF-T in that pocket but your needs and imagination will dictate what you put in there, if anything at all.
I have to say I am really happy with the Ricci Ankle Medical System (AMS). It has truly filled a niche in the law enforcement duty gear community. I’ve seen the good that immediate first aid can do. The AMS ensures that help gets there quicker.
The Ricci Ankle Medical System (AMS) is available from Strike Industries.
Strike Industries AMS Product Page
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