The kit in question was the Comprehensive Rescue System, a sturdy, gray, 17-pound case of supplies custom-built by emergency management startup Mobilize Rescue Systems. It contains gauzes, bandages, and ointments like any first-aid kit, but also carries tourniquets, chest seals, and QuikClot—the kind of stuff you hope you'll never have to use, but that can keep someone with severe injuries alive while they're waiting on an ambulance.
But a first aid kit is only as effective as the person using it, which is why Smith wasn't interested in the supplies so much as he was in the iPad embedded in its lid, which came installed with an interactive app that distills some 1,600 pages of triage and emergency-response decision-trees drawn up by Mobilize Rescue's team of SWAT- and military medics, emergency medicine physicians, EMS providers.
Smith, who oversees the Colorado School of Mines' Energy, Mining, and Construction Industry Safety Program, has worked as a mine rescue trainer or team member for close to a decade. Having dealt firsthand with everything from heart attacks to crushed limbs, he immediately recognized the kit's potential when he saw it at an industry conference in February. (The kit launched in December 2016.) The information in the app is presented in a series of simple, on-screen prompts designed to identify and treat the most serious injuries first. The goal: Make it as easy as possible for bystanders to provide lifesaving care to trauma victims.