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Manchester Arena Inquiry: citizenAID

citizenAID: improving outcomes after a deliberate attack

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Launched in late 2016, citizenAID is a UK charity whose aim is to educate members of the public in how to act in a multiple casualty incident and save lives. This has been through a free public app that draws on military medical know-how, combined with web-based resources, a popular paper Pocket Guide, children’s educational materials and a suite of cost-effective emergency equipment for public use. Following serious injury, the greatest enemy of the patient is time. Most avoidable deaths occur early, in minutes. Life-saving interventions that are delayed will have no benefit. In this situation, it is those who are at the scene—the public—who must be empowered to act. This is the rationale behind citizenAID.

In March 2017 citizenAID delivered its first public conference in Birmingham, sharing its principles through cartoon-based scenarios of credible incidents, discussed with the audience through a panel made up of emergency services, and training the public to deliver simple life-saving skills with improvised equipment. The scenarios included a terrorist bomb in a stadium. In parallel, a public information film of an explosion in a station was sponsored by the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh and released in April 2017 {}.

On the 22 May 2017 our predictive ‘illustration’ became horrific reality. As a group of senior clinicians with extensive combat trauma experience, we were shocked by events on that day. Our motivation and determination remains—to reduce the impact of any future events by public empowerment through knowledge, skills and access to equipment, with care delivered in the critical minutes following injury and before professional emergency services are available. This fills the recognised and so-called ‘care gap’ or ‘therapeutic vacuum’ referred to in the Arena Inquiry report of 3 Nov 22.

citizenAID has partnered with national institutions, training organisations and industry who share our purpose. Together with St John Ambulance and National Counter Terrorism Security Office we have created the national standard for Public Access Trauma Kits (PAcT), to provide the minimum standard of equipment that evidence identifies can improve outcomes. But importantly, if no equipment is available or you run out, we make it clear that “It’s OK to improvise” a dressing or and tourniquet with clothing and everyday objects.

citizenAID gave detailed evidence to the Manchester Arena Inquiry team and this is referred to in today’s report. The report highlights the requirement for first aid training of the public (including school children); first aid training of events industry staff with a responsibility to ‘Protect’; and the need for Public Access Trauma Kits. citizenAID’s educational material for both adults and children is available on our website, as is simple life-saving equipment formulated into a low-cost PAcT kit.

Chair of the Inquiry, Sir John Saunders, graciously acknowledges the work of the citizenAID charity and the “extraordinary work to bring the need for public education better to the forefront”. We stand by as a charity to further assist in the delivery of education, training and equipment solutions that can save lives in the unlikely but not impossible event of a multiple casualty incident. Together, we can save lives.


About citizenAID

citizenAID is the initiative of four UK civilian and military trauma specialists whose aim is to improve public resilience from deliberate attacks. Launched in 2016, citizenAID has promoted a simple, logical system of immediate actions to enable the member of the public with no medical training to act and save a life. It is designed to guide the public to react safely, to pass effective messages to the emergency services, to prioritise the injured and to give life-saving care. Built on tried and tested principles that have been used by individual soldiers to save lives following comparable injuries sustained in the combat setting, citizenAID transfers the same medical knowledge and skills to the public so that they can help in these incidents.

citizenAID is a charity, registered in England and Wales; Charity Number 1176033.

For further details please contact Mike Robinson, Operations Manager Email: Phone: +44 7732 252 636


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