The report into the Manchester Arena bombing recommended more government support for first-aid training. But the skills needed to treat people with the sort of traumatic injuries found in terror attacks go beyond simple first aid training. The question is “who provides that sort of specialised training?” We believe that citizenAID is the answer. This is why.
The public can hold the key in a terror attack
The Kerslake report* into the Manchester Arena terror attack on 22 May 2017 praised the public response to the attack. The Review Panel noted that “members of the public undoubtedly acted as…a force multiplier during the initial response activities” and said it was “humbled” to see CCTV footage which showed “the heroic actions of the public involved in the widespread provision of first aid”.
A similar situation occurred during the 7/7 attacks in London. Dr Chris Cocking identifies the public as a potential asset to emergency services and has suggested that emergency services, instead of seeing the public as an obstruction to be moved on, utilise the public’s willingness to help, yielding a large pool of volunteers which could be used as a “force multiplier”**.
At citizenAID we had already identified the potential for the public to be a significant asset to the wounded in a terror attack. In fact, in many terror attacks the public are the ONLY resource that is available in the early minutes after the attack. In most terror attacks (and similarly in Manchester) police, fire and ambulance have the daunting task of containing further threats and hazards, keeping people safe and saving lives. Unfortunately, delays in provision of medical treatment*** can happen and this is where the public, those already within the danger area, can be empowered and be a real force for good - aiding the emergency services.
But the Kerslake report also noted that even though people at the scene were “trying their best in genuinely harrowing circumstances” that many of them “did not appear familiar with first aid principles and/or were attempting to use more complex major-trauma procedures without sufficient knowledge”. A key recommendation of the report was that “The Government should increase its support for public first-aid training programmes (including those for children and young people)”.
citizenAID methodology can help support the public
citizenAID provides a methodology for how people should act if caught in a mass casualty incident or terror attack. The first part of the methodology is focused on protecting yourself in the first stage of an incident – either a gunman, knife attacker, exploded bomb or suspected bomb – and explains the Police’s “RUN, HIDE, TELL” message.
The second part of the methodology focuses on “TREAT”. Because injuries caused in bomb explosions and gun and knife attacks are often an order of magnitude worse than injuries for which normal first aid courses are designed. Medics refer to “catastrophic bleeding” in these situations and it is vital to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. People with “catastrophic bleeding” can bleed to death in minutes, so it really is vital that care is given immediately if lives are to be saved in these incidents.
The citizenAID methodology is based on lessons learned (and successfully applied) by the Armed Forces consolidating key first aid learning from over 15 years of armed conflict.
citizenAID offers a free App that is available from Google, Apple and the Windows store. Using an icon-based approach to make it more accessible, the App explains how people with different types of wounds can be treated. The App assumes no prior medical knowledge and shows how to improvise if no medical equipment is available.
citizenAID isn’t just the App
But citizenAID is not just about the App. We are a UK-registered charity (number: 1176033) and our stated aim is “to empower the public to take immediate action and save lives in a multiple casualty event”.
We provide training products for schools and youth groups. Our schools’ product is currently focused on our Moggy’s Coming book for younger children (which tells the story of a cat loose in a school of mice) as well as our forthcoming Teachers’ Education Pack and Training Box for older children.
We provide training for adults as well. Our Qualsafe Level 2 Training course is a certified three-hour course teaching life-saving skills and techniques. If this does not suit, our citizenAID volunteers are always available to train staff at companies or large groups of people and please contact us if you have interest. Our citizenAID Pocket Guide can also be ordered online.
We will have more educational products being released over the course of the year, but if there is a product that you would wish to see that we are not providing and you think you can help, please contact us via our website.
citizenAID has also launched an affordable equipment range. Most professionally-used tourniquets, such as the Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT), cost of the order of £20-30. citizenAID’s Tourni-Key sells for just £5.99 (discounts available for bulk orders). And it is only the start. citizenAID plans to introduce a whole suite of trauma treatment packs at affordable prices.
We are a charity
As a charity, our primary aim is support of the population and not profit. As a charity we rely on donations of money and time to support our work. If you would like to donate money please click the “Donate” button on our website. If you would like to support our work please contact us.
*Kerslake, B (2018) The Kerslake Report: An Independent review into the preparedness for, and emergency reponse to, the Manchester Arena attack on 22nd May 2017
**Cocking, C. (2013) Crowd resilience during the 7/7/2005 London Bombings: Implications for the Emergency Services. International Journal of the Emergency Services, 2 (2) 79-93.
***Manchester attack: ‘Treatment delayed’ for bomb victims http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-41838579 downloaded on 4 April 2018.