A new application designed to help the public administer basic first aid and potentially save lives during a terrorist attack was launched. Backed up by senior military and civilian medics and endorsed by national counter-terrorism police, CitizenAID offers step-by-step advice on what to do if you are caught up in an attack, or are first on the scene after a serious incident. It’s a form of first aid training on your phone.
Run, hide, tell
The app builds on advice already given by national counter-terrorism police to anyone caught up in an incident. Namely, to run away if at all possible, hide somewhere safe if not and tell the emergency services as soon as you can. However, CitizenAID takes it one step further, suggesting that once you are safe, you should start to help treat casualties until the paramedics arrive and can take over. If you feel that you lack the first aid skills to help, the app will guide you through some basic, but crucial techniques to minimise damage from injuries and help save lives.
CitizenAID offers advice on how to prioritise which casualties to help first in the immediate aftermath of an explosion, shooting or stabbing. It will also inform you how to tell the emergency services what has happened and to describe to them how you have tried to help. If you have already had first aid training, this will also help you work out how to treat the injured on the scene, and what to do to ease the general situation. It will allow you to keep your head and not panic at the wrong time.
The CFitizenAID app teaches a number of important medical techniques commonly taught in first aid training courses, such as how to pack and put pressure on an injury to stem the bleeding, how and where apply a tourniquet to a wound and the best way to help someone who has gone into shock. While large-scale bombings, mass shootings and other terrorist attacks are still extremely rare in the UK, the app is intended to empower the public so that if they are suddenly put in the position of having to help out, they can do so with more confidence and knowledge of what to do.
Step by step
Instructions about how to proceed and who to contact are presented in a step-by-step format to remove the anxiety of what to do first in an already stressful situation. People can rely on the advice given in the app and use it to secure their own safety and then contribute confidently to helping others. The CitizenAID app is free to download and is supported by a website and a pocket book, which costs £1.99 to order.
The CitizenAID website can be found at www.citizenaid.org.