Educating and empowering the public with citizenAID

Authored by Aurélie Hay-David

citizenAID® was founded in January 2017 by military and civilian clinicians in Birmingham, drawing heavily from lessons learnt from the military. With the increased prevalence of deliberate attacks it was developed to educate, and thereby empower, the public through simple skills and knowledge in order to prevent avoidable deaths. While the clinical concepts are not new, the combination of safety messaging with life-saving skills as “Run-Hide-Tell-Treat” and “Control then ACT” are certainly novel approaches for the public. This prepares the public to react consistently and effectively in a terrorist attack using a simple approach that is accessible via a booklet or a free app.

citizenAID® received independent charitable status in December 2017, having been initially supported under the umbrella of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. Organisations and institutions that have supported the charitable endeavour (in principle or financially) include the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, RCSEng, RCSEd, RCGP, RCEM, BMA, TraumaCare, MARS, and the Defence Medical Services. citizenAID® was debated in the House of Lords in March 2017, with the charity praised for its efforts. The free app has been widely adopted by the public and private sector.

Tim Hodgetts at the Banqueting Hall of Glasgow City Council Chambers

In 2017, the app received the “Innovation Award” from the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network. In 2018, citizenAID® received the “National Counter Terror Project Award”, while the children’s book Moggy’s Coming (an allegory of a terror attack where a cat attacks a school of mice) was named the “Most Innovative Product of the Year” at the Business Continuity Awards. The Business Continuity Award was sponsored by “Scottish Continuity: sustaining a resilient community” (https://www.scottishcontinuity.com).

In February 2018, citizenAID® launched the Tourni-Key™, invented by citizenAID® co-founder Brigadier Tim Hodgetts CBE, who said: “The Tourni-Key™ has been developed to meet a direct need. Experience has taught us there is a predictable delay between an attack taking place and professional help reaching the injured this means those within the incident, the public, are the ones who can make the difference in saving life from severe bleeding.

Instructors supervising at table practicals

“The Tourni-Key™ is a light, rigid plastic device, in high visibility yellow, that converts a strip of material into an effective tourniquet. Its unique design allows the tourniquet to be quickly secured. As a low cost alternative, there is a realistic opportunity to make this life-saving skill more widely available and to empower a critical mass of the public and first responders.”
“In addition, we know tourniquets are painful, so to reduce the pain from skin bunching as the tourniquet is tightened, we have included the idea of an Anti-Pinch Card. There is space on the card to record the time the tourniquet is applied, which is important for a hospital to know.”

For further information and explainer films and cartoon videos visit our website www.citizenaid.org. The Tourni-Key™ (£5.99), paper guide (£1.99) and Moggy’s Coming (£9.99) can be purchased on-line and this directly supports the work of the charity. The free app can be downloaded for both Android and iPhones.

Our first event in Scotland for the public sector was oversubscribed and took place at the Banqueting Hall of Glasgow City Council Chambers in May 2018. Further events are being planned across Scotland.

The event in May was a resounding success

To volunteer / offer support please email info@citizenaid.org

Miss Aurélie Hay-David, Scottish Ambassador a.hay-david@citizenaid.org