News story

CitizenAid advice supports Run Hide Tell

citizenAID™ 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 first aid


Military and civilian doctors have been working together to produce a new app with the aim of saving lives before emergency services arrive to give help.

citizenAID has been developed by military and civilian clinicians in the UK who have deep experience of treating blast and gunshot injuries, and who have developed systems in use nationally and internationally to treat multiple casualties in both civilian and military environments.

citizenAID is a free app suitable for all smart phones which provides clear and simple actions informing the general public on immediate actions in a shooting, stabbing or bomb incident and how to give life-saving first aid to the injured. Familiarisation training is to be available free online. A paper pocket guide will also be available.

Avoidable deaths can occur very quickly, particularly from bleeding, with injuries from a bomb or shooting, and these events often involve multiple victims. Military experience from treating casualties in conflict has shown how vital immediate action in these circumstances can be.

Brigadier Tim Hodgetts, Medical Director of the Defence Medical Services and co-author of citizenAID says:

citizenAID takes recent military experience to create a simple system that is accessible to the general public to use in the first minutes when there are multiple casualties from a shooting, stabbing or a bomb. We know that by having the knowledge and skills at the point of injury we can prevent avoidable deaths.

Sir Keith Porter, Professor of Clinical Traumatology at University Hospital Birmingham and co-author of citizenAID says:

The greatest threat to a patient after serious injury is time. When there is a shooting or stabbing incident the first priority for the emergency services is public safety. This means access to the injured may be delayed. citizenAID empowers the public in these difficult situations to help themselves, their family and friends, and the wider community, while waiting for the emergency services. It provides the public with information to encourage immediate action that can genuinely save lives.

citizenAID provides advice on what to do on discovering a suspect bomb and the immediate actions to take after a bomb has exploded. Simple steps to organise the scene and pass the right information to the emergency services will improve bystander safety and ensure that those most in need are treated first.

citizenAID was launched to coincide with the National Counter Terrorism Awareness Week 2016 and the App was launched subsequently on the 1st January2017.

The Head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO), Chief Inspector Richard Harding, says:

citizenAID complements our ongoing work to advise the public on how to maximise their chances of surviving a terrorist attack.

Experience tells us that when people are provided with straightforward information on how to plan, prepare and react to an incident, it results in more effective decision making and improves the likelihood of positive outcomes should the worst happen.

This is why, following the attacks in Paris 12 months ago; we published our Run, Hide, Tell message, which is available to view online.

By providing guidance on how to manage traumatic injuries, citizenAID will take this on to the next stage – helping people to help themselves and others, save lives and ultimately thwart the aims of the terrorists.

citizenAID is supported by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, which is the academic institute that sets national standards for pre-hospital immediate care practice and education.

Mr Michael Lavelle-Jones, President of the College said:

As a College dedicated to delivering high standards of patient safety, we welcome the launch of citizenAID today. In the aftermath of any event leading to casualties, the general public will inevitably be first at the scene. The application of knowledge and simple skills in the critical period immediately after injury can make the difference between life and death. The citizenAID initiative, which informs the public on the appropriate course of action under these circumstances, gets the full support of this College.

Information on the citizenAID initiative is available now at where you can begin to familiarise yourself with the system: the first edition of the free public app was launched 1 Jan 2017, together with the printed pocket guide.

Updates on the freely available resources will be announced on Twitter @Thecitizenaid and on Facebook (The citizen aid).

Published 6 January 2017