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App to help citizens in the event of a terrorist attack launched

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App to help citizens in the event of a terrorist attack launched

January 2017

A new app and pocketbook designed to give citizens basic first aid skills in the event of a terror attack has just been launched.

CitizenAID, developed by a team of senior military and civilian medics, equips people with lifesaving skills they may need to use if they get caught up in a terror incident.

The current threat level for international terrorism in the UK is severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely”.

The new, free app, which is also available to order with a pocketbook and is supported by a website, gives advice, backed by counter-terrorism police, on how to deal with injuries in the aftermath of a mass shooting, bombing or stabbing incident.

Its designers say that people should get to grips with skills like making a tourniquet and elevating a wound because it can take time for emergency services to arrive on the scene of terrorist incidents. Knowing these first aid skills could save lives, it is claimed.

Richard Harding, head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, told the BBC: "One of the challenges we have is that when a serious incident, particularly a terrorist incident occurs, the first responders from a police perspective to a terrorist incident will inevitably be trying to deal with the people causing the threat.

"They won't have time to deal with the people who are injured and that gap is vital to saving people's lives.

"So we are really interested in the concept of CitizenAID. It allows the public and people involved in very rare incidents like this to help themselves and help others and their loved ones survive the situation."

The app is modelled on the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ framework for how to act in a terror attack:

Run away in the event of an incident if you can
Hide if you can't run
Tell the emergency services

“The CitizenAID app will reduce the anxiety from difficult decision-making in an unfamiliar situation. Follow the logical steps to do the right things in the right order. Stay safe and help us…to help you…to save lives,” the app’s developers said.

Ploughshare has various technologies intended to help support security services combat threats in various forms.

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