Mike Noell, CEO and President of Blackhawk, started the company in his garage with a very simple mission. You see, Mike is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, and he wanted to make sure his buddies were able to not only complete their missions, but to save lives, including their own. That simple company philosophy “to save lives” has not changed since Blackhawk’s founding in 1991.
In spite of their impressive catalog of over 2,000 items of military, law enforcement, and outdoor gear, the Blackhawk philosophy is literally sewn or molded in every product. Case in point: the new Integrated Tourniquet System or I.T.S. for simplicity. And the idea is so simple; you might ask why it wasn’t thought of before. Like many of the products that come out of Blackhawk, the idea originates on the battlefield, a cop’s beat, or from a trainer’s doctrine. The ideas come from real need by real people. A former Army surgeon who had seen the increase in extremity wounds realized the face of combat had changed. Soldiers and tactical operators were now better protected on the torso and head, but the extremities were still vulnerable. Working with Blackhawk, the I.T.S. pants and shirt was developed.
The Blackhawk Integrated Tourniquet System integrates four tourniquets in each pair of pants and shirt. The I.T.S. pants offer proximal (femoral artery) and distal (tibial artery) protection on both legs and the shirt offers primary protection for the brachial artery and distal placement at the wrists. The built-in tourniquets meet the eight United States Army Institute of Surgical Research requirements for weight, size, application time, ease-of-use, operation and cost.
Over 60% of preventable combat deaths are from extremity bleeding and 50-70% of all combat injuries are extremity wounds. By wearing the I.T.S. clothing an operator can access the tourniquets himself or easily aid a team member because every team member knows the location of the tourniquets. They can be activated in seconds saving precious time and blood loss. The tourniquets can be used again and again without damage and the garments are machine washable and dryer safe. As comfortable and durable as these pants and shirts are, the Blackhawk mission is built right in with every life-saving tourniquet.