First Responder Solutions™, Inc., was founded by Retired Fire Captain Mitch Kastros in 2011 based upon his observations, experience and frustrations in the field as a first responder.
While on a medical emergency in 2008, Mitch was assisting a fellow firefighter and paramedic while she was treating a patient who had fallen and sustained a head injury. The standard of care at the time was, and still is, to place gauze on the head wound to control bleeding, plus a cold pack on the affected area to control intra-cranial swelling, and then wrap the head with a roller bandage to hold the gauze and cold pack in place. As often happens with these types of head injuries, the bandage kept slipping off of the patient’s head. In a moment of revelation, they grabbed the man’s beanie cap and placed it on over the gauze and cold pack to hold them in place. This sparked the idea for the Trauma Beanie® Bandage.
For many of the situations he encountered, Mitch knew “there has to be a better way”. In 2012, First Responder Solutions was formed to bring the Trauma Beanie Bandage and other high-quality medical products to market.
Trauma Beanie has been designed and developed by our internal team of designers and material science engineers. Trauma Beanies are manufactured in the USA by First Responder Solutions. We hold several patents on our Trauma Beanie products, and the additional products we offer also provide significant advancement to traditional treatment protocols. In many cases, we will have exclusive distribution rights for these products.
First Responder Solutions is headquartered in Carmel, California, with manufacturing and distribution operations in (city) Massachusetts.
First Responder Solutions believes in America first, and we strive for USA manufacturing and material supply whenever possible.
Mitch Kastros, Founder/Trauma Beanie Co-InventorMitch is the founder of First Responder Solutions, a subsidiary of ETC Innovation, and Co-Inventor of the Trauma Beanie Basic Care and Trauma Beanie Advanced Care caps. Mitch graduated in 1974 from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and entered the fire service the following year, working as a firefighter/EMT, engineer and captain through 2016. He assists Co-Trauma Beanie Inventor and Director of Manufacturing Marc Etchells with the day to day operations of the company.
Marc Etchells, Chief Operating Officer/Trauma Beanie Co-Inventor
Though not big into titles, Marc is COO of First Responder Solutions and oversees manufacturing and the long-term and day-to-day operations of the company. Marc holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s of Science from the Institute of Textile Technology (ITT) in Charlottesville, Virginia.
With well over 30 years in business as President of ETC Innovation, he specializes in Infection Control Technology within medical and food-safety fields with manufacturing and development experience enveloping fibers, nonwovens, composites and textiles plus films and foams. He also possesses strong hands-on product and business development experience, including Broad P/L management, team building and business development experience within $5-40 million organizations. Marc is recognized by many as an “expert" in this unique and fast-moving field and is highly entrepreneurial and focused on innovation and specialized manufacturing.
Brodie Greer, Director of Business Development
Brodie oversees introductions of the Trauma Beanie Bandage Models into the emergency responder, law enforcement, athletic and military communities. Through his passion and approachable demeanor, Brodie has played a key role in promoting the company and product line.
A standout defensive back on the PCAA (Pacific Coast Athletic Association) Conference Champion San Jose State football team which defeated Rose Bowl bound Stanford, Brodie graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management in 1973. While at SJSU, Brodie's elective courses involved theatre and acting. After graduating from San Jose State, Brodie had brief stints in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams. However, Brodie’s acting classes paid off as he landed many parts in commercials, television shows and movies. He is best-remembered in his strong supporting role as Barry (Bear) Baricza on the successful television series "CHiPs."
Terry Feinberg, Director of Marketing
Terry has a long history in marketing, PR and community relations. After attending UC Irvine, he managed marketing and sales for his grandfather’s company providing energy efficient industrial lubricants until he helped negotiate the sale of the company. After assisting in the transition to the new company, Terry started the first of four marketing and consulting companies he has owned, assisting small businesses and major corporations in the defense, technology, industrial and medical fields.
Terry did stints as the CEO of two industry trade associations before becoming general manager of the Salinas Californian newspaper and Californian Media digital properties. Immediately prior to joining First Responder Solutions, Terry was co-founder and principal at Moxxy Marketing, a multi-award-winning, full-service marketing agency.
Octavio Cazares, International Product and Sales Representative/New Product Analyst/Director of R&D
Octavio joined the First Responder Solutions team in May 2018. He has 30 years of operational experience as an Operational Team Medic in military pre-hospital environments worldwide, and as a Registered Nurse in Level I and II Trauma centers. Octavio’s wealth of knowledge and practical skills proficiency are valuable assets in helping to optimize product design and performance.
In addition to his contributions in sales and product development, since 2000 Octavio has passed on his knowledge and skills, both in the U.S. and abroad, to hundreds of soldiers, law enforcement personnel and colleagues as a qualified instructor and trainer. Some of the many subjects he has taught include Emergency Medical Care of Penetrating Trauma, Basic First Aid, CPR, Combat Lifesaver (CLS), Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Emergency Response (CBRNE), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Emergency Management of Battlefield Injuries (EMBI), Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS), Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Crisis Management, plus the development of the Core Curriculum Training Module for Management of Life-threatening Hemorrhage.
Elaney Karabetsos, Director of Product Field Application
Elaney, or Laney, was born and raised in Mountain View CA. Her mother was a Physician’s Assistant (PA) / Family Nurse Practitioner (F-NP), meaning Laney grew up with the medical field around her and observed the advances being made in medicine at that time. It was not until she lived in Hawaii that her attention was brought to the world of Fire and EMS as a career.
Laney began her career as a Firefighter/EMT in 2007, furthering her education and becoming a Paramedic (EMT-P) in 2010. She is a full-time Firefighter/Paramedic with an agency that offers transport services, as well as an NAEMT (National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians) PHTLS (Pre Hospital Trauma Life Support) instructor & NAEMT TECC (Tactical Emergency Casualty Care) instructor. In 2016 she obtained an AS in Fire Science through Kaplan University.