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Coworker nearly died on the range

2023 Views 24 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  nexus/mk.7
I work as a firearms instructor and one of our guys nearly died on Tuesday from something seemingly less sinister than a rifle bite...an ant bite.

We had them shooting from the prone when the guy jumped up and started brushing off his foot and leg. Turns out he had proned out into an ant colony (there was no visible pile, due to ongoing heavy rains). We asked if he was allergic, and he said no. Five minutes later, while shooting from the kneel, he started itching his neck and swaying. We picked him up and started carrying him back to the overhang and before we got there he couldnt' support himself. Sat him in a chair, where he locked up, stopped breathing, and started falling over. We immediately called 911, recognizing the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, and laid him out on the ground. One of the guys held his chin forward in a chin thrust to help keep his airway clear, as his tongue was swelling up. His heart rate was way high, but he was pale and slipping in and out of conciousness. We cut his pants off and found more ants still on his leg, and of course brushed them off. Rescue took an unGodly 12-15 minutes to arrive and brought him to the hostpital three miles away. ER doc said that he was within five minutes of death, but he's now doing fine, though still in ICU for observation. He'll be out today.

Scary stuff. Apparantly as we get older, we can get allergic to things we havent' been over the years. Doc said that he probably got bit a while back by a number of ants and that his body built up an over immunity to it, and when he got bit again his body unleased the fury. Kinda like giggin' frogs with a pitchfork. Our guy will now have an EpiPen and knows he's allergic. We're trying to come up with procedures to deal with this situation in the future, and have contacted the city leo/FR officials to find out why the response time was so terrible, and make sure it doesn't happen again this way.

Something to keep in mind, folks.
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What kinda ants were these?

Little red fire ants.
I don't think them buggers have made it this far north....yet.

man do fireants suck. growing up in florida they were everywhere. when i got bit, it would leave a pimple like bite. nasty little critters. rain makes them worse too, cause then they are out and about looking for new spots.
Damn dude, glad to hear he's ok!!
wow, close one. I wonder if liquid benadryl could have been sneaked down his throat? great job to the guys there for keeping him breathing.
Good thing you guys were around. Probably saved his life.
If he hasn't already had the suggestion, he should ask his physician about getting a prescription for one of these -

For your range -

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Wakko said:
Our guy will now have an EpiPen and knows he's allergic.
We're checking into if we can keep a couple on the range in case it happens again.
Lumpy said:
I don't think them buggers have made it this far north....yet.

Its a southern thing, never had them in Iowa when I was growing up, but when I moved to Texas they were everywhere. Seems you couldnt walk more than 30 feet in the brush without stepping on another mound, and I had dead spots all over my backyard from pouring gasoline on them (only thing that killed the mound, not even bleach worked.)
Those things are the very spawn of Satan and will cover you up in a heartbeat. Stings burn like fire and, as stated before, leave a pus-filled pimple-like blister on the skin that is incredibly sore. Once you get them in your clothes usually all you can do is get out of 'em asap ( and for you that won't be fast enough). AKA the "Alabama Land Piranha". :mrgreen:

Glad he's ok now. Glad also that you are working on that emergency response time.

BTW, a cheaper alternative to gasoline is anything with the highest concentration of diazinone in it ... which, of course, they are trying to outlaw.
Another solution (true or not I havent tested) is to take a shovel full of ant hill and swap it for another, alledgedly the fire ants will attack each other to kill the queens.
Or just sprinkle some red ant killer on the mound and they die. Did that today.
Wow! Glad to hear he's going to be okay.

Good work on recognizing the emergency for what it was. :allright:
Glad he's OK! They had fire ant hills cordoned off with barbed wire in some of the training areas on Ft. Polk when I was in BCT. We trainees were warned to stay clear! Nasty critters!
Glad he's doing ok!!
he's also lucky he had friends around that can think clearly in a bad situation
Epi Pen

Sounds like he will be carrying the epi pen from now on.
Got ants? Amdro is your friend. Works just great on fire ants and many other species.
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