With the current threat from international terrorism in the UK set as severe, we know the importance of being prepared. citizenAID is a humanitarian charity that campaigns to highlight the need to educate and empower the public. Through simple education and training, via easily accessible and free materials, the non-medically trained can learn to take immediate actions / gain life-saving skills. How do we get this important message out? One way is to engage students…
On May 4th, 2019, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham was host to our first citizenAID student conference. It was a fitting venue: home to the co-founders, born out from their considerable clinical and operational experiences. The aim was to provide students with an insight into mass casualty incidents, the citizenAID system and, practically, what immediate lifesaving skills can be applied.
Introduced by Brigadier Tim Hodgetts, the combined team approach to a mass casualty incident was explained by representatives from the West Midlands Police, Fire and Ambulance Services. Counter-terrorism academic Dr David Lowe provided an update on the evolving / latest global threats. Lt Col Ross Moy highlighted the lessons that we have identified and learnt from the military that have been applied to the civilian setting. WMAS HART paramedic Jon Harvey explained his role / response at scene and supporting security operations. Brigadier Hodgetts went on to explain the origins of the cA campaign, how to use the app for any potential scenario…Starting to feel educated / empowered?
While all this education / training is great: what does this actually mean in practise?! Our obligations and the legal position was clarified by Miss Rebecca Gould from the MDU who explained the Good Samaritan Act and the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act.
After lunch there was a presentation on setting up a student cA society: how to spread the word within your own place of study - how to promote to and to train the public, to fundraise. While hugely rewarding, a few themes were highlighted: team work, good communication, hazards / pitfalls.
A demo of military medical response / triage followed that prompted discussion on differences between military vs civilian triage and treating one vs multiple casualties at scene.
Next, was safe tourniquet use and how to make an improvised tourniquet. This was demonstrated and supervised by instructors that included clinicians with experience in the military and pre-hospital care arena. citizenAID’s own award winning improvised tourniquet, the tourni-key®, was also demonstrated (Counter Terror Project Award, Security & Counter Terror Expo 2018, Olympia, London; 'Most Innovative Product of the Year' award at the Business Continuity Awards 2018, London).
There was a great cross section of multi-specialty delegates from Wolverhampton, Leicester, Birmingham, Wales, Sheffield, London and Holland. The presentations and practical demonstrations were a fantastic source of discussion and ensured a very interactive day / experience. The informal feedback has been most encouraging. We have a growing cA student network from across the UK.
If you wish to learn more about the charity as a volunteer, instructor, fundraiser then please get in touch email@example.com
We are exceptionally grateful to the clinicians, emergency services and volunteers who gave up their own time to support our event. We thank our supporters / sponsors: Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity; University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust; the University of Sunderland; the BMA; the MDU; the Army Medical Services. Thank you also to the co-founders and my co-organisers (Mr Andy Thurgood, Capt Jonny Herron and Dr Bobby Faris).
Miss Aurélie Hay-David
citizenAID Ambassador for Scotland